Mulch Fundamentals For Spring Landscaping

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With the spring warmup approaching, many homeowners are turning their thoughts to landscaping preparations and tree care. If you have started to think about how you're going to prepare your lawn this spring, one of the things that might be on your mind is mulch. It is a beneficial addition to trees, shrubs, and garden beds, but only if you choose properly and apply it the right way. Here are some things you should understand about mulch application for your yard this year.

Choose Your Mulch Material Carefully

One of the most important decisions that you will make for your yard this year is the type of mulch that you apply around your landscaping elements. Mulch comes in many forms, far beyond just the wood chips that you might be familiar with.

Be cautious about synthetic mulch products, such as rubber pellets, because they might leach chemicals into the soil. 

If you choose tree bark mulch, make sure you clarify the contents because any mulch containing black walnut bark could actually kill the plants you're trying to protect. There's a toxin in black walnut trees that can devastate your landscaping. Not only that, but you should steer clear of cocoa hulls if you want to protect your pets. They are toxic to dogs in particular, so any curious pups could be at risk.

Consider Fire Hazards

You might not think about fire hazards when you think about mulch, but you should. Fine mulch products are especially vulnerable to combustion, including materials such as hay, straw, and shredded wood material. Make sure you choose something with a lower risk of combustion if you're applying the mulch anywhere near your home.

Apply The Mulch Correctly

It's tempting to just pile mulch up around your trees and under the shrubs, but doing so could do more harm than good. If you mound mulch up around the trunks and stems, you risk suffocating the plants because you prevent the trunk from getting the airflow that it needs. That can create moisture problems and even pest issues. Instead, keep the mulch a couple of inches away from the trunk of the tree and build a layer that's several inches thick.

These are some of the basic things that you should understand when it comes to dealing with mulch for your spring landscaping work. For more information on mulch services, contact a company like Smitty's Tree Service Inc.