‘Tis the season to take care of the year’s last outdoor home improvement projects. Fall is an excellent time to not only work on fencing, patios, and other hardscapes, but to prepare plants for a strong spring revival. Besides pruning back dead foliage and stray branches, you will also want to mulch in the fall.
When to Mulch in the Fall
Adding mulch provides nutrition and protection for plants over the winter months. However, you don’t want to create an unnatural condition for the plants by insulating them at a warmer temperature than necessary. The ideal time to mulch in the fall is right after the first frost when the ground temperature reaches the freezing point. It is at this temperature that you want to keep your plants until spring. If you expect snow to cover the ground all winter, you won’t have to worry so much about mulching, since snow also insulates the ground at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. In Maryland, however, one’s garden is better off with the mulch.
Mulching Garden Beds
When mulching garden beds, you can apply a 3-inch layer for medium protection. This thickness should be thin enough for young plants to push through and thick enough for insulation. If you have flower beds, planting your perennials in the fall will encourage a head start for root establishment. If you have a vegetable garden, you’ll be less likely to have weeds.
Mulching Around Trees
Trees and shrubs also benefit from a healthy covering of mulch. However, give a little room around the base of the trunk, so the mulch will not trap moisture and cause the trunk to rot. One can create an island of mulch around each tree proportionate to the diameter of its boughs.
Best Types of Mulch
There are many types of mulch, but pine and wood chips are excellent for the nutrients they add to the soil. One can also go with alternatives like grass clippings, shredded fall leaves, pine needles, straw, and compost. However, one should be aware to only scatter a thin layer of grass clippings to avoid creating slime and avoid adding grass clippings if one applied herbicide to the lawn. If you use dead leaf matter, add a nitrogen-packed fertilizer to the mix to make up for the deficiency.
Choose Edwards Lawn & Home
For the past thirteen years, Edwards Lawn and Home has been offering premier residential and commercial services to improve your property all year long. The options are endless from a new patio to a backyard fire pit, let the winners of Angie’s List Super Service Aware serve you! If you’re interested in finding out more about our services or getting a quote, you can contact us online or give us a call at 443-341-6539. For more information about our services or DIY tips and tricks follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Houzz.