The Basic Uses of Mulch Connecticut Gardeners Should Know

Beginning gardeners often think that it is enough to find a sunny spot, plant seeds, and water regularly. However, many soon find that these efforts rarely produce really lush, healthy, fast growing plants. The difference is often the use of mulch, a covering put on soil to feed, and protect it. Mulch comes in many varieties and is used by landscapers, farmers, and gardeners. It can range from natural material, which can be created, to synthetics, bought from gardening suppliers. In order to choose the right Mulch Connecticut gardeners should first understand how it works.

Various organic materials can make up mulch. These include leaves, wood chips, newspaper, and decomposed natural materials. Some are used alone, while others are mixed together. When placed on top of the soil, they protect it from temperature extremes, help retain moisture and have the advantage of becoming fertilizer as they break down. Completely decomposed natural material is known as compost and is frequently used as a mulch which feeds plants. In colder climates gravel and rock serve as mulch which helps keep heat in the soil. Pine needles are another heat-retaining option for cold climates. Mulch is also used to stop the growth of weeds by depriving them of sunlight, so it is essential that natural materials have any weeds or weed seeds removed before they are used.

Not all mulch is natural. Farmers and some gardeners use sheets of plastic to create planting beds that require tractors or other special equipment. When using synthetic Mulch Connecticut gardeners are usually working with much smaller areas, so they can do this by hand. Mulch is typically used at the beginning of the planting season, to provide a healthy, protected environment where seeds can grow quickly. Later, it is reapplied to help maintain moisture and reduce the effects of climate extremes. Some gardeners even use recycled rubber tires as mulch, although it is more commonly seen in areas such as playgrounds. In some cases, mulch is laid down as a decorative accent, during landscaping. Often this will include inorganic mulch which is laid down during planting but does not require replacement or topping later. While decorative mulch does help soil retain moisture, controls weeds, and prevents sun damage, it is primarily used to create an effect and does not feed plants.

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