Mulching promotes plant health. Mulching helps plants conserve moisture and withstand temperature extremes. It also keeps down weeds. Here is how to mulch.
- Apply three inches of mulch. If you use less than that, the mulch is ineffective. More than five inches can prevent oxygen from reaching your plants’ roots.
- Keep the mulch two to three inches away from the trunks of established plants. Mulch that touches trunks may encourage them to decay and rot. For new plantings, mulch can be placed close to the trunk, but, after a few months, once the plants are established, mulch should be pulled away from the trunk.
- Mulch at least six feet beyond the canopy spread. This is where the plants’ delicate feeder roots are. Each year, increase the size of the mulched area.
- Use finer textured mulches, such as chipped leaves and limbs, pine straw, pine bark mulch, and cypress mulch. Pine bark nuggets tend to wash away. Grass clippings become matted and quickly decompose.