Mulch is the term for any organic material that can be used as a top dressing for your garden beds. Mulches can be made of many different types of material, including straw, pine needles, grass clippings, saw dust and shredded leaves. However, one of the most common types of garden mulch is bark.
There are several main reasons that gardeners use barks and mulches for their beds. The first is that during the growing season mulch discourages weeds from growing around your plants and stealing much-needed nutrients from the soil
The mulch also helps to keep moisture in the soil and prevents evaporation after watering. Mulches and barks can also help to regulate the soil temperature so that it doesn’t get too hot or cold in extremes of temperature.
In the winter months the mulch also provides some much-needed protection for sensitive perennials like roses. It can also help to add a sense of beauty and tidiness to gardens, especially using different kinds of barks to add texture and colours. Over time, mulch and bark will rot down and add minerals and nutrients to the soil.
Bark mulch is made by shredding tree bark into smaller pieces and should be used in depths of two to three inches around trees and shrubs. Try to keep the bark a few inches away from the trunks of the trees or shrubs. This will prevent rot damage as the bark gets wet and breaks down. Bark will break down much slower than some other kinds of mulch.
Another popular kind of mulch is sawdust, which is readily available and a by-product of the wood industry. It is relatively cheap but it may also require that you add fertiliser with high nitrogen content to counteract some of the effects of the sawdust. An alternative mulch material is pine needles. They are light and airy and are another inexpensive mulch but they can take decades to break down and will add an acidic quality to your soil over time.
At Springbridge, we sell loose loads of different types of barks and mulches. You can also buy large bags of ornamental bark mulch and woodland mulch. Prices start from £79.99 for a large bag. Loose load prices depend on the size of the order, so get in touch to discuss your options.
Barks and mulches are a very useful garden material and can help to preserve the look and appearance of your garden. If you’re bored of constantly weeding, have trouble keeping moisture in the soil or your plants are sensitive and need an extra little bit of protection, then barks and mulches could be a much-needed addition to your garden space. Finally, mulches and barks are a great way to add minerals and organic matter over time. Combine them with compost or fertiliser to make a healthy and beneficial treat for your soil.