Examples of Mulch Applied to Some Plants
In our everyday gardening routines, we can find mulching materials sold commercially at most garden centers, farm stores, and marts. I prefer the natural kinds, which are sometimes free for the taking or at least are sold inexpensively. Wheat or oat straw, leaves, pine needles, bark chips, and pea gravel are some that I like and use. Most of all, I am fond of my composted plant materials and rotted cow manure when they are completely broken down. These two are especially good tilled into light soils as an amendment.
Here are some other ways in which I've used pea gravel and pine bark chips, as well as rotted wood chips, pine needles, and straw.
Benefits Include the Following:
1. Moisture retention around plant roots.
2. Weed prevention and control.
3. Encouragement of earth worm development and habitat.
4. Natural fertilizer and nutrients from broken down debris and worm castings.
5. Less work involving weeding and hoeing.
6. Neater appearance for groomed beds and gardens.
7. Cleaner plants and vegetables from spattered soil.
Experienced gardeners know there are some plants not suited to mulching. Among these are tall bearded irises, which can become infected with certain pathogens, resulting in bacterial soft rot and other diseases. I sometimes cheat with the dwarfs and miniature dwarfs with a thin layer of pine bark chips and/or gravel.