Mulching Your Shrubs and Trees

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Too much of a good thing isn't good when it applies to many things in our lives, but it is especially true for mulch around our trees and shrubs. Let's set the basis for the use of mulch by explaining its purpose.

First of all, mulch will certainly keep weeds down in and around your planting area. Weeds, like any plant, need sunlight and air and mulch will restrict both of these.

Mulch will also keep moisture in the soil where it is better used by the shrubs or trees. This is especially true for times of drought where there is a tremendous demand for replenishing the moisture in the above ground portion of the plant.

Certainly by using mulch, it gives a great transition from the lawn grass to the shrub or trees. It gives a more pleasing look and a softer landscape look and is especially true for mulched areas near the house.

Last but not least mulched areas cut down on the prevalence of mowitis. Mowitis is a term I coined several years ago and is when when the homeowner bangs in to a tree with a lawn mower or rings the tree bark with a weed eater. Get it, mowitis.

Last but not least is the very important idea about not piling mulch up against any plant. If the mulch comes in contact with the plants bark, the resulting bark will rot and there goes your prized new landscape addition. 2-3 inches of mulch are all you need to accomplish the benefits of mulch I just mentioned, but then you can cup it near the trunk to where you can see the actual trunk as it enters the soil.

Like I mentioned mulch is great but understand its limitations.

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