Mulching weeds works to effectively control the weeds while providing optimal conditions for the plants to grow. Mulch makes the garden look nice, helps the soil to retain moisture and, as it decomposes, generally adds nutrients to the soil. When mulching weeds knowing what type of mulch works the best will provide the most benefit. With a little effort you can enjoy a weed free, environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing garden.
When mulching weeds, careful consideration remains of utmost importance when choosing organic mulch. Certain types, such as recycled grass clippings and straw or hay, can carry weed seeds and are not recommended for use in a flower garden. These products do enrich the soil as they break down and provide valuable nutrients useful when used in a vegetable garden.
Pine bark, attractive dark colored mulch, works effectively in weed control. Available in an assortment of sizes, pine bark nuggets may float away in a heavy rain. This may cause concern, especially in areas where the ground slopes. Pine nuggets may attract insects including termites. When placed around shrubs and trees, pine needles make outstanding and attractive mulch. Like pine nuggets, pine needles retain moisture and improve the soil as they decompose while working to block the sun from the weeds.
Wood chips make attractive mulch. When placed at a depth of two to three inches they will provide optimal weed control. The smaller chips decompose rapidly. Although they will pull nitrogen from the soil as they decompose, most gardeners simply replace it with a nitrogen rich fertilizer.
Mulch made of shredded hardwood makes an ideal choice for mulching weeds. This product does not easily wash away and will not decompose as quickly as other types of mulch. Many users find this mulch attractive and find it works well for weed control.
For gardeners that seek a more permanent solution, inorganic mulch will also provide excellent weed control. In areas where permanent plants live, a one inch layer of gravel, crushed stone, or pebbles make an ideal selection. Small rocks will attract heat to the landscaped area during the hottest summer months and will require extra watering.
Black plastic or polyethylene film works effectively to prevent the growth of weeds. This type of weed control will also hold in moisture. For this reason use of black plastic should be avoided in areas of poor drainage. If the soil remains too wet underneath the plastic, this may result in damage to the roots. To prevent this from happening either cut holes into the plastic or purchase plastic specially made for garden use.
Cover the black plastic with pine needles, wood chips, or other mulch to reduce the amount of heat absorbed and to make the landscaping look more attractive. If the plastic is buried underground a few inches, it will last several years before replacement will become necessary. Avoid clear plastic because the sunlight can penetrate through it and can increase the growth of the weeds.
Mulch comprised of ground rubber tires is new and increasing in popularity. This type of mulch will not decompose so it will never require replacement. Another advantage to rubber mulch includes its ability to insulate the soil and keep the ground a few degrees warmer. It reduces fungus growth and works to effectively dehydrate the weed seeds. This mulch has quickly become one of the top eco-friendly mulch choices since it keeps used tires out of landfills.
Mulching weeds provides many benefits. Along with the obvious benefits of providing nutrients and holding moisture in the ground, mulch also maintains the temperature of the ground. It also effectively keeps soil-borne diseases from splashing up onto the foliage during periods of heavy rain.
Photo source: marioanima