Your Design Pundit regards mulch as a temporary evil. This view seems counter to the collected vision of the green industry, which lionizes the virtues of mulch. This week, why that view is (mostly) wrong, how to use mulch, and some common mulch products.
While mulch is used to retain soil moisture and discourage seed germination, soil protection is provided by mature plants in a priorly designed garden because they naturally cover the soil.
Yes, some attention should be paid to the perimeter of a planting bed, but a mature bed will require no mulch between the plants. Huge amounts are spent covering the same area, year after year, when a single investment in appropriate plant material would dramatically reduce the cost and improve appearance.
Newly exposed soils are best protected by a shredded product, usually pine, with no large particles.
With that said, which mulch type last the longest? Which retain color? Does mulch encourage termites?
Commonly used mulch materials include:
- Shredded Cypress is shredded Cypress trees. Once considered very desirable for initial color, Cypress will quickly become gray and is not long lasting.