First you decide on a color, then how much to buy and then where to buy it. But what type mulch should be used? Best way to apply it? Helpful hints?
Properly distributed mulch can amplify the existing beauty of your landscaping efforts. Evenly spread, colorful mulch also makes a yard appear more organized and maintained. Mulch beds reduce weed growth around plants, hold moisture in the soil and let water penetrate the ground more effectively.
This type of mulch is a byproduct of natural sources, such as grass, bark, straw, leaves or nut shells. As organic mulch breaks down, it improves the chemistry of the soil, thereby increasing the number of bacteria, fungi and insects. These helpful insects keep the population of harmful, plant destroying insects at bay.
CEDAR AND CYPRESS
Wood mulches are among the most popular used due to their attractive appearance, ready availability and low cost. The wood from cedar trees and red hemlock contains an oil with an odor that repels many small bugs. In general, wood chips will not attract termites that are not already present in your area.
TIPS FOR APPLYING MULCH TO PROTECT YOUR HOME
• Provide a buffer zone – leave a strip of bare dirt a foot or more wide between the mulch and your house foundation to deter tunneling termites
• Leave 6” of foundation showing between the ground and your siding or wood
• Do not water the house – keeping the bare strip dry is unattractive to termites
• Keep mulch dry – in wet yards, limit the mulch layer to 2” and rake the mulch
• Stay vigilant – keep an eye on the foundation (inside and out) for signs of termites
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