- 1. Mulch Conserves Moisture in Soil.
Evaporation can quickly steal essential moisture from bare, unprotected garden beds. However, a well-mulched garden can retain water in the soil to nurture flowers, herbs, vegetables and other desirable plants.
- 2. Mulch Minimizes Soil Compaction
Un-mulched gardens can suffer from compacted soil, particularly with repeated watering and weather-related evaporation. However, many organic mulches appeal to earthworms, which can burrow through soil to add aeration and healthy dirt density for plants.
- 3. Mulch Adds Weed Control
Mulch helps to hold back the growth of unwanted vegetation in a garden bed by blocking the sunlight from sprouting weeds. In addition, a generous application of mulch can fill the empty spaces in a garden, discouraging wind-borne weeds from taking root.
- 4. Mulch Helps Control Garden Pests
Many types of garden mulching materials can actually keep garden pests at bay. In particular, aromatic wood chips and shavings can deter many types of insects from garden plantings. Roughly textured mulches (such as wood bark, stone chips or rocks) usually deter creeping garden pests (such as slugs) from taking up residence in garden beds as well.
- 5. Mulch Prevents Erosion
Most mulch adds texture and stability to garden soils, keeping erosion to a minimum, even in heavy rains or winds.
- 6. Mulch Enhances Plant Nutrition
Organic mulches (such as plant matter and wood mulches) even add nutritional value to the soil as they decompose naturally. Many of these biodegradable mulch materials contain essential minerals and other important components to nurture garden plants.
- 7. Mulch Protects Plants in Seasonal Changes
In regions with varying climates, garden mulch can guard plants and their roots from baking in hot weather and from freezing in colder conditions. Mulch also shields garden plantings’ roots from direct exposure to the elements, such as hard rains, scorching sunshine and harsh winds.
- 8. Mulch Improves the Garden’s Overall Appearance
Finally, most garden mulches greatly enhance the look of garden plantings. For this reason, professional gardeners and landscapers nearly always finish their work with garden mulch. Even sparsely planted gardens look polished with liberal mulching.