A layer of mulch is an excellent way to provide nutrients to your plants. It also happens to have tremendous design potential, marking off your garden with a brown surface. While it might be beautiful, you would hate to do something that might hurt your flower bed. So, will flowers grow through mulch?
When it comes to seedings, mulch can be a detriment to your garden. That’s because a thick layer of mulch can prevent your seedlings from breathing. To address this is, wait until your flowers grow before adding any material to the top of them. Even after your plants are grown, spread in a thin layer.
The rest of this article will address additional mulching tips for flowers. We will also handle different types of mulch that would be suitable for your garden.
The Benefits of Mulching your Garden
Anytime you plant flowers into your garden soil, your ultimate goal is to create the best situation for them to thrive. Mulching provides excellent benefits for your garden. Below are few examples of how you can use a mulch to your advantage:
It Protects the Bare Soil Underneath
The ultimate reason for mulching the ground is protection.
The sun’s heat constantly bombards bare earth. Your ground retains moisture better when protected by a top layer.
On the opposite side, cold temperatures can negatively affect a plant’s ability to grow. Warm temperatures are easily retained under mulch, ensuring that the cold won’t reach the soil with greater ease.
You Spend Less Time Watering
As a result of a protected layer of ground, you don’t have to water your plants quite as often. Any pile of mulch that only fills a thin layer allows more excellent moisture retention.
Mulch Kills Weeds
The best way to suppress weeds is to kill them while they are weed seeds. Mulch is not suitable for seedlings, meaning that newly formed weed seeds won’t gain ample oxygen and sunlight to start their growth process.
Just be sure to remember this process when it comes to your regular plant roots. Seedlings for plants you want to grow should not receive mulch.
What Type of Mulch is Best for Me?
First, it’s important to note that there are two wide varieties of mulch types:
When you make mulch using organic matter, that is what defines organic mulches. Examples of this in action include pine needles, leaf mulch, grass clippings, straw mulch, and shredded bark. With wood mulch, be careful not to overdo it, as they can be super-absorbent and take away from watering your plants.
To address this issue directly, you can invest in a soaker hose. Organic mulches have the advantage of being absorbed into the ground. Only some have nutrients, as most of them are just dead organic material.
Manufacturers make inorganic mulches to meet longevity needs. However, these will not die over the winter and be absorbed by the ground. Instead, you will need to remove the mulch at the end of the growing season.
Examples of this include black plastic, landscape fabric, or rubber mulch. These can be just as good as organic matter at suppressing weeds and retaining moisture. You often use them in combination with irrigation systems in vegetable gardens.
Do I Need Mulch?
Mulch is excellent at retaining heat, soil moisture and preventing the effect of extreme temperatures in your garden bed. But mulch is not needed for every type of plant.
Below are some cases where you don’t need mulch:
If Your Plants Already Have Good Cold Hardiness
Wood chips or coarse mulch is excellent at preventing cold temperatures from destroying your root systems. If your plants are known for being cold-hardy, you don’t need to mulch the garden.
You Don’t Live in a Place with Extreme Temperature Changes
If you live in a location known for extreme heat or cold, you need to mulch your garden. However, temperate conditions do not require the same mulching.
Your Plants are Already Strong
Plants who have been around for multiple seasons (or are late into the growing season) do not need mulching. If your plants are already dominant, do not bother adding mulch.
Having a few inches of mulch on the top of your garden is a great way to accent your garden. However, many people make the mistake of adding too much mulch or creating a wet mulch layer.
To ensure your plants can survive, add mulch during the middle of your plant’s growing season. That means adding mulch in spring or only doing landscaping mulch. Besides preventing weeds, retaining moisture, or retaining temperature, mulch isn’t known for enhancing plant growth.
For more tips on mulch, check out our article on if you can use black mulch for vegetable gardens. Thanks for reading!