Mulching is primarily done in the spring and fall seasons. We offer a variety of mulch colors and ideas to choose from.
Materials used as mulches vary and depend on a number of factors. Use takes into consideration availability, cost, appearance, the effect it has on the soil — including chemical reactions and pH, durability, combustibility, rate of decomposition, how clean it is — some can contain weed, seeds or plant pathogens.
- Organic residues: grass clippings, leaves, hay, straw, kitchen scraps comfrey, shredded bark, whole bark nuggets, sawdust, shells, woodchips, shredded newspaper, cardboard, wool, but also animal manure, etc. Many of these materials also act as a direct composting system, such as the mulched clippings of a mulching lawn mower, or other organics applied as sheet composting.
- Compost: This should be fully composted material to avoid possible phytotoxicity problems, and the weed seed must have been eliminated, otherwise the mulch will actually produce weed cover.
- Rubber mulch: made from recycled tire rubber.
- Plastic mulch: crops grow through slits or holes in thin plastic sheeting. This method is predominant in large-scale vegetable growing, with millions of acres cultivated under plastic mulch worldwide each year (disposal of plastic mulch is cited as an environmental problem).
- Rock and gravel can also be used as a mulch. In cooler climates the heat retained by rocks may extend the growing season.