There’s something magical about the days starting to cool off a little bit, gentle breezes that carry the scorching heat of summer, bringing with them the promised kiss of apple picking, pumpkin carving, and jumping with abandon into piles of leaves.
With the changing of the colors from the verdant green of summer to brilliant reds, striking oranges, and mellow yellows, a checklist of autumn outdoor chores magically makes its appearance. Raking up falling leaves, putting your garden tools away clean, and mulching your flowerbeds should be a definitive part of this list.
Let’s talk about that magical mulch!
Cold can be stressful.
While we have a particular love for our favorite warm scarf and socks, that doesn’t mean we don’t recognize the harshness of winter’s cold. Likewise, our flowers have a healthy fear of the cold that comes with the end of autumn and throughout the winter. And they should.
The cold can kill even the hardiest perennial flowers if we don’t do all the things we can to protect them. Pruning any dead limbs helps, as does transplanting any annuals that can’t survive the winter. Laying mulch is the most effective way to provide a shield for your blooms throughout the winter’s crisp frost.
Feed your plants all winter long.
One of the most amazing things about mulch is its versatility. Mulch offers so many different benefits for your plants, flowers, and trees. The benefits can vary depending on the type of mulch you choose to use.
If your choice of mulch includes organic materials like pine straw, bark, or compost, you get to practice some serious recycling. Mulch lets essential nutrients seep into the soil throughout the winter months when laid in the fall, as it decomposes – keeping your plants and flowers fed and fat.
A fresh opportunity to try something new.
You’ve read a load about the benefits, you’re eager to be an even greener friend to the planet, but you are nervous about actually getting started: composting. To create compost from your waste can be a process, we understand. But the benefits can be outstanding.
Using compost as a mulch, especially when laid in the fall season, is a great way to care for your plants and soil while winter is ravaging our land. Knowing that a fresh layer of mulch needs to be laid may be the perfect excuse for you to get your education on and try something new.
A blanket of warmth during the chilly months.
Many living things spend the autumn months storing up food for the winter, not just in their homes but eating an abundance to keep up insulation from the cold and getting nutrients before they’re hard to find.
Your plants and flowers are at risk of succumbing to the frost of the bitter cold months without extra insulation. Like a blanket that you snuggle up under on the coldest nights, mulch acts the same way for your flowerbeds. Insulating and providing temperature regulation for your flowers is one of mulch’s superpowers.
A natural weed treatment option.
Sometimes our weeds get a bit out of control and require weed treatment to help rid your property of the nasty buggers. Sometimes you think you don’t have a weed problem because you don’t see them on the surface – where their nefarious presence lurks underneath the surface.
Mulch can act throughout the fall and winter as a natural weed suppressant. When laid in the right thickness, mulch will keep moisture locked in, but too many of the sun’s rays locked out to help weeds grow – stopping them before they have the chance to start.
Erosion and compaction: two sides of the same coin.
Depending on the type of winter we are subjected to, erosion of our property’s soil can be a problem. Erosion can occur when too much moisture is allowed to let our soil get literally carried away. With rain and snow, erosion is always a risk.
Conversely, and sometimes simultaneously, soil compaction can occur during the winter months. This is because the weight of snow and frost can be significant. Plus, when the ground gets very cold, it can harden up, causing compaction.
Mulch creates an excellent barrier to both these problems. The soil stays put, surrounding the bulbs and seeds of the plants without washing away or overcrowding them because the mulch keeps the soil in the same spot.
Keep your year-round blooms just that – year-round.
Your plants and flowers can go through seasons, just like the weather. Some flowers are created to die with the autumn months, needing to be replanted completely come spring. On the other hand, some blooms are designed to weather the winter’s cold and stormy days with no problem.
Even those hibernating during the winter to arise like a phoenix from the ashes with the birth of spring could use protection to sleep well at the end of the year and the beginning of the next. Mulch acts as the lullaby to keep your flowers safe and ready to wake again.
Like porridge, it’s all about having the “just right” amount.
Just because we are sharing the joy of mulch and its value, don’t get reckless. This doesn’t mean you should run to your local hardware store and buy enough to put a foot-thick barrier between the air and the soil – nor does it mean that you lay a gentle sprinkling of the stuff on the soil.
How thick of a layer of mulch to use is a tricky equation, and there really is too much or too little of a good thing. A few inches is enough coverage in most situations – although a blanket amount doesn’t exist either.
The right tools for the job include the right team.
Starting a revolution with your flowerbeds by introducing a fresh hero of the hour with mulch is one that could use the assistance of the pros. Revolution Landscape and Design know mulch, knows your lawn and knows all the fall tips and tricks to make an easier spring for your landscape.