- It keeps your good organic soil from washing away.
- It keeps moisture in.
- It keeps soil temperatures steady.
- It suppresses weeds.
- It beautifies your landscape.
Of course, the negative thing about mulch is that it has to be applied! Witness the mountain of mulch that still blocks my driveway. I had 8 yards delivered about three weeks ago, and with much hauling, cursing, mumbling and some strong teenage help, I've gotten maybe half on the garden. Now deep into May, I begin to feel I'm NEVER going to get finished. As I lug the buckets (I can't use wheelbarrows due to the steepness of the property and the thickness of the plantings) I generally find something that has to be done before the mulch can be put down. Weeds to pull or behead, a chlorotic rose, slug damage, a transplant Necessity, etc. So I'm delayed. But I like to think the garden benefits as a whole.
Those of you who read my weekly News-Times column know I like the dark, organic mulches, such as Sweet Peet and Agrimix. I don't use dyed material, and I don't use stones, rubber or peat moss. I want a product that will not only enhance the garden but improve it as well. By the end of the season an organic mulch will have mostly melted into garden soil, enriching it. Of course, that means that mulching is an annual chore, but oh well.
This year I've set June 1st as my Finish-the-Mulch goal. Let's I hope I get there.