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Fall Mulching

It’s unfortunate that most of us think of mulching as an afterthought, a topping or icing on the cake after you’ve completed your landscaping. Although this may be the case on newly completed landscaped backyards, mulching is an integral part to maintaining the health of your backyard.

Every spring we see that people purposely use mulch to help beautify their gardens. What we DON’T see is people use mulch in the fall. We want to change that mindset because mulching in the fall is a potential cost-saving that pays it forward in the spring and summer. Here’s why:

Mulch as a Blanket

Using mulch to cover the ground in your garden is a barrier between the freezing cold and snow in the winter. This barrier acts like insulation to help moderate the temperature of the roots of the plants, trees and shrubs in your garden. It also prevents soil erosion and compaction from heavy rains. Hands down, it is one of the quickest, easiest and highly effective action that you can do to protect and maintain your garden. You simply pile it on around the base of plants, shrubs or trees or over larger areas throw on a nice thick layer (2 to 4 inches). Some examples of organic mulches that you spread out on top of the soil include straw, shredded leaves, aged manure and wood chips.

Keeping it Moist

By default, we all know that mulch is good at keeping the ground moist. It is probably one of better known attributes of mulch. Some research conducted by various universities show that moisture retention can be as high as 70% (dependent on a number of factors). This is because it prevents dew which is condensation of moisture found in the soil and not necessarily condensation of water from the air. Mulch is the one barrier to catch the condensation from the soil and prevents it from being drawn up the soil and evaporating and keeping the roots of your plants, trees and shrubs surrounded by moist soil.

Weed Be Gone (Almost!)

It is a fact that weeds are universally disliked, especially in beautified areas such as manicured parks, public gardens and your yard. If you take a closer look at public spaces you will see that mulch, whether it is red, brown or black or bark, is used to manage and control weeds. A study conducted by McGill university showed that mulching can significantly reduce weeds to the point where it is manageable, where 7.5 weeds showed up in 110 square foot area. This mean that the city can keep their public spaces nicer for a longer period of time, thus saving money. To get to this type of result yourself, you need to make sure the mulch itself is weed-free or you will end up growing more weeds in your garden. It is also recommended that you have enough mulch to prevent existing weed seeds from germinating.

Happy Fall Mulching!

Feel free to reach out to us should you have any more questions by commenting below or contacting us phone or email.

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4 thoughts on “Fall Mulching”

  1. I have used cedar mulch for the first time this Spring and noticed a big difference in weed suppression and water retention. The question I have is this: If I mulch in the Fall,must I remove the mulch come Spring or can it be left in place?

    1. Hi Dawn,

      That is a great question and I’m happy to hear that mulch is making a difference in your backyard. Because mulch is organic matter it will decompose over time. It is not necessary to remove the old mulch to apply more next year. You may apply less than you originally started, just a top up will do the trick. Before adding new mulch it is always a good idea to cultivate the old mulch by first breaking up any matting that has occurred. Doing this method will provide great results for years to come and will ensure a fresh and esthetically pleasing Garden. I hope this may have answered your question. Feel free to contact me should you have any other questions.

      Justin, Manager

  2. Hi Justin,

    Interesting and helpful article. Do you suggest tilling the garden (at any time and/or) in the fall before mulching?


    1. Geoff,

      Thank you for your question. Tilling is usually associated with vegetable gardens‎ and mulching is not necessary in vegetable gardens. What type of garden do you have?



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