There’s nothing that compares to the look of a colorful flowerbed in a home’s landscape. It balances the landscape while introducing bright, bold new colors. But if flowers can grow here, so can weeds, which is why it’s important to use mulch.
Applying mulch offers several key benefits. For starters, it discourages weeds by blocking out the sunlight. And because weeds cannot grow, your flowers have access to more moisture and nutrients, stimulating their growth and overall health in the process. Mulch can even protect your flowers from cold snaps during the latter months of the year.
Regardless of why you use it, it’s important to choose the right type of mulch. So, what’s the best type of mulch to use in your flowerbed?
One of the most popular types of mulch for flowerbeds is wood chips. Available for sale at most home improvement stores and plant nurseries, it’s visually attractive, provides ample protection from cold, and it decays slowly. For these reasons and others, wood chips are an excellent choice of mulch to use in flowerbeds.
Another common type of flowerbed mulch is hay. It’s cheap, easy to find, and works well for this purpose. The only real problem with hay mulch, is that it may attract rodents and other pests. If you’re going to use hay, beware of pests and take the necessary precautions to keep them out of your flowerbed.
Some homeowners prefer to use gravel as mulch for their flowerbeds. Because of its weight, gravel stays in place more easily than other types of mulch. The downside, however, is that some weeds may still emerge through the small cracks.
What About Grass Clippings?
If you mow your lawn on a regular basis (as you should), you might be wondering whether grass clippings can be used as mulch for a flowerbed. While you “can” use grass clippings as mulch, it’s not the best choice.
The biggest problem associated with grass clippings is their short lifespan. Grass clippings have a tendency to decay rapidly, at which point you’ll have to add new clippings to keep your flowers safe.
For most applications, either wood chips or hay are the best choices of mulch for flowerbeds. They offer an excellent level of protection, while also promoting healthier flowers. Just remember to apply an even layer of mulch throughout your entire flowerbed.
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