How to Choose the Right Mulch for Your Garden

April 14, 2015

FSI Landscape Supply_image_041415Gardening season is fast approaching and many homeowners, from beginners to veteran green thumbs, may be considering the best type of mulch. There are a number of factors you’ll need to look at when choosing, such as how it will affect your soil’s pH level. Generally speaking, a two-inch layer of mulch applied once the ground thaws in the spring will provide the best results.

Landscaping Fabric

Though landscaping fabric is an affordable material, experts recommend avoiding it because, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. The fabric doesn’t allow mulch to mix with the soil and it can prevent water from getting in.

Wood Chips

If you’re looking to an affordable and much more effective alternative to landscaping fabric, you can’t go wrong with wood chips. Many companies offer this material for a low price, but don’t let that make you suspicious; wood chips are effective because they break down slowly and are best used around trees and shrubs. The downside is that wood chips turn grey with age.

Cocoa Hulls

This material is filled with nutrients and maintains an attractive brown hue that darkens with age. If you live somewhere warm and humid, it may develop a harmless mould. Note that dog owners should avoid this mulch since, like chocolate, it is toxic to our four-legged friends.

Mineral Mulches

This material is excellent for suppressing weeds, useful for landscape edging since it can keep weeds and other plants out of your garden, and allows oxygen, water, and fertilizer to penetrate the soil. However, unless you have something beneath it, mineral mulches can work their way into the soil and can end up on your lawn, creating a hazard when you run over them with a lawnmower.

Organic Mulches

Organic mulches come in any number of materials; a professional can advise you on the best ones to use. This type of mulch generally consists of straw, yard waste, and even old newspapers. Composting won’t prevent weeds, but it’s still an excellent source of nutrients for your garden.

Organic mulches are a favorite way for gardeners to control weeds. They contain nutrients that can be broken down into the soil. They also allow water to enter the soil more readily.

Shredded Bark

Considered to be an organic mulch, shredded bark is excellent for shrubs and perennials. It’s also ideal for slopes since it won’t wash away easily in the event of heavy rain.

If you’re planning your spring gardening project, call FSI Landscape Supply, the leading supplier of materials for landscape edging in Toronto. We offer a variety of quality mulches to our customers at an affordable price. If you’re looking for mulch and/or landscape edging in Toronto, contact FSI Landscape Supply today!

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