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Mulching 101

June 4, 2024

Cedar mulch


Mulching is an essential gardening practice that directly improves soil health and the life of your plants. It saves water, time, money, and effort, making it a gardener’s best friend. In this guide, we will explore the benefits of mulching, best practices for application, and the different types of mulch you can use to transform your garden.


Benefits of Mulch

Soil Health and Plant Life: Mulching significantly enhances the health of your soil and plants by supporting beneficial microorganisms and worms, improving soil fertility, and promoting healthier plant growth.


Saves Water, Time, Money, and Effort: Mulch retains moisture, reducing watering frequency and saving you time and effort. It also helps conserve water, reducing water bills and environmental footprint.


Suppresses Weed Growth and Erosion: Mulch acts as a natural weed suppressant, preventing weed seeds from germinating and growing. It also helps to suppress dust and erosion, protecting your soil and plant roots from heavy rains and harsh weather conditions.


Enhances Garden Aesthetics: Adding mulch to your garden not only benefits the soil but also adds an appealing look to your landscape. Mulch provides a neat, finished appearance that enhances the overall beauty of your garden.

Insulates Soil and Protects Roots: Mulch insulates the soil, protecting plant roots from temperature swings. This also promotes a stable root environment, allowing your plants to stay healthy and resilient throughout the seasons.

Best Practices for Mulching

Follow Packaging Recommendations: Different types of mulch may have specific application guidelines. Always double-check the packaging for best recommendations.


Weed the Area: Before applying mulch, weed the area thoroughly or lay down cardboard to suppress invasive or persistent weeds.


Apply the Right Thickness: Spread mulch two to four inches thick over the soil surface. This provides the best moisture retention and weed suppression balance without smothering the plants.


Maintain Distance from Plant Stems and Tree Trunks: Avoid “volcano mulching,” piling mulch too close to or too high up the stems of plants or tree trunks, as this can cause suffocation or rot. For trees, maintain a distance of at least one foot from the trunk.


Avoid Covering Sprouting Seeds: Mulch can suppress the growth of newly sprouted seeds. Apply mulch after sprouting all herbs, fruits, and vegetables to ensure healthy growth.


Water After Application: Give the area a deep watering to help keep the mulch absorb into the soil.


Seasonal Application: Apply mulch in early to mid-spring and again in the fall to protect your plants and soil throughout the year.


Refreshing Mulch: Refresh your mulch periodically as it decomposes or becomes compacted.

Different Types of Mulch

Here at Sheridan Nurseries, we offer several types of mulches, each with its unique aesthetic appeal:


Cedar Mulch


Black Cedar Mulch: Offers a striking contrast that enhances your garden’s visual appeal.

Natural Cedar Mulch: Provides a more rustic and natural look while retaining the benefits of cedar mulch.

Brown Cedar Mulch: Blends well with the natural soil colour, offering a more natural appearance.

Red Cedar Mulch: Adds a vibrant, eye-catching colour to your garden landscape.

Coloured mulch is safe to place in and around your garden. It effortlessly adds interesting aesthetic appeal without being harmful to animals, people, and plants.


Pine Mulch


Pine Nuggets: Larger chunks that decompose slowly, providing long-lasting coverage and a distinctive look. However, it is important to note that as this mulch breaks down, it can increase the acidity of the soil. This can be beneficial to plants that prefer acidity yet harmful to the plants that prefer balanced soil conditions.

Following these mulching practices can help create a healthy, beautiful, and protected garden. Whether you are looking to improve soil health, save water, or enhance the aesthetic appeal of your landscape, mulching is a simple yet powerful tool that delivers remarkable results.