Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Amazing Benefits of Wood Mulch for Your Garden

~ This is a featured post. ~

Home gardens benefit from wood mulch as much as forest plants. Wood is a good compost, offering a natural texture that helps plants grow, reduce weeds, and provide a lot more benefits.

A 15-year study that examined a farm using wood mulch as compost found that the nitrogen level in the plants increased over time. The results show that using wood mulch as compost lead to enhanced plant growth.

In this blog post, you will learn what exactly wood mulch is and the best ways to ensure its proper use in your garden.

Wood Chip Mulch: What Is It?

Many expert gardeners have a lot to say about the benefits of mulching with wood chips. Using wood mulch provides the required nutrients for the plant. Wood chips are organic, and they break down nutrients over time.

In addition, the nutrients protect the soil and provide ground cover. Wood mulch can also reduce the weeds resulting in a clean look.

Mulching with wood chips helps even out soil temperature levels. This helps reduce erosion and improves the soil structure. Using the mulch also conserve the moisture thereby reducing the risk of pests and other plant diseases.

Why Use Wood Chips Mulch?

Wood mulch greatly benefits the plants as well as the ecology. The mulch is readily available for free. You can find wood mulch everywhere.

The great thing about wood mulch is that it doesn’t get blown away similar to other lighter mulch. One study examined 15 organic mulches and found that wood chips are much better at moisture retention, weed control, and temperature moderation.

Tips to Apply Wood Chips Mulch

Wood chips mulch should be applied to a garden at a depth of at least 75 mm for the best performance. This will give the best weed suppression and water holding capacity thereby preventing the soil from becoming dry out quickly.

Before you apply mulch to the garden, you need to consider the natural characteristics of the soil. Consider adding fertilizer to the garden soil before adding wood chips mulch. This will ensure adequate nutrition of your plant.

For heavy clay soil, you may need to improve soil drainage first by adding a sandy loam soil. Consider adding a good organic garden mix to the soil.

An important consideration during summers is ensuring that the soil retains water. The soil can become water repellent that can suffocate the soil. To address this issue, you must option.
  1. You can add a wetting agent to the soil. The wetting agent will lessen the surface tension and help the soil to retain water for a longer period. Make sure to water the soil and keep watering for up to one week before adding wood chip mulch.
  2. You can also add organic material such as Nitro Humus in the soil at 25 percent per volume of compost. The organic matter will act like a sponge retaining moisture in the soil. It can also help the water to penetrate deeper thereby promoting the growth of the plant root.

How Often Should You Add Wood Mulch?

You can apply wood chip mulch around the plant at any time. Consider mulching newly potted plants after watering them. Due to the abundance of wood mulch, fall is the best time to collect wood chips for mulching.

Moreover, you can contact a wood chipping service to extract wood chips from fallen trees.   

How much mulch to apply to the soil depends on the density and texture of the mulch. Most bark and wood mulches consist of fine particles. They should not be more than 3 inches deep after they are settled. Wood mulches of pine bark and pine needles are a course that allows excellent air movement. These should be kept not more than 4 inches deep.

Don’t put a large amount of mulch near the trunk or stem of a plant. This is important as excessive mulch near the plant could suffocate the roots resulting in poor growth and soil conditions.

Myths about Using Wood Chips Mulch

Some people say that wood chips mulch should not be used. They claim that it leads to nitrogen deficiency. Although it’s true that the nitrogen is deficient at the soil where wood meets the soil, the bottom of the soil will still receive nitrogen. This is the reason you should leave the mulch at the top of the soil. In addition, you can use high nitrogen compost below the mulch to ensure adequate nitrogen for the plant. 

Wood chips obtained from branches with leaves are a great source of nitrogen for the plants.

Another concern regarding wood chips mulch is that the pH may be acidic. Although the original wood mulch is slightly acidic, the soil produced by the decomposition of the chips will not have a high pH level. No study has confirmed that the wood chip mulch could lead to increased acidity as claimed by some expert gardeners. So, you should not worry about the soil turning acidic and harming your plants when you add wood chips mulch.

The fact of the matter is wood chips mulch provides a lot of benefits to the plants. They provide adequate soil covering. In addition, the mulch leads to reduced need for weeding. Water retention ability will mean that you need to water less in the garden. This will create the perfect condition for the plants to grow healthy.

While inorganic mulches such as pebbles last for a longer period, but they don’t add as many nutrients similar to wood chips mulch. In addition, they also don’t condition the soil for maximum water retention similar to wood mulch. Still, you can add gravel and pebbles during the winter as they keep the soil warmer and promote plant growth.

Wood chips mulch is much better as compared to other organic and inorganic mulches. You can rest assured of healthy plant growth when you use wood chips obtained from the ground or a wood chipping service.
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