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Mulching your flower beds is one of the simplest ways to enhance your garden and plants. Providing many benefits for your trees and shrubs by reducing weed growth and keep sunlight from reaching the soil surface, it reduces water loss from the soil surface, which helps maintain soil moisture. Moderates soil temperatures in winter, soil under mulch will be warmer than unprotected soil. This protect plants from the cycle of freezing and thawing. Reduce soil erosion and prevents crusting of the soil surface. Warm the soil in spring, allowing for planting days or weeks before the soil would normally be ready. Improves your plants health and grow, due to less weeds and more constants moisture and soil temperature.
Among its long list of benefits, mulch insulates the soil from temperature extremes, locks in moisture, keeps weeds at bay, prevents soil compaction, and protects sensitive plantings from damage by weed whackers and lawn mowers. Plus, virtually all types of mulch can give planting beds an attractive, manicured, and well-maintained appearance.
Broadly speaking, homeowners select from two basic types of mulch: organic and inorganic:
These include hardwood and softwood chips, bark, evergreen needles, leaves, grass clippings, compost mixes, newspaper and cardboard, and a variety of other plant byproducts—consist of materials that decompose over time. Work any of these into the soil and they can improve soil fertility, aeration, structure, and drainage as they decompose. Because organic mulches decompose, they must be replenished on a regular basis, but most landscape professionals prefer organic mulches because of the many benefits they bring to the soil.
Various types of mulch materials do not decompose and therefore do not need to be replenished very often, if ever. These options include rock, stone, lava rock, crusher dust, pulverized rubber, landscape fabrics, and other man-made materials. Inorganic mulches are ideal for decorative use and controlling weeds. Because rocks and stones absorb and reflect heat, they have the advantage of warming the soil for early spring planting of fruits and vegetables but can be detrimental to plants during periods of hot, dry weather.
... And anything else that needs to be done to tidy up your lawn?