If you’re new to landscaping, you may wonder if it’s worth mulching in the fall. While adding mulch to your landscape or flower beds seems counterproductive for the cooler seasons, laying mulch in the fall is the most beneficial as it protects plants from frost and winter temperatures.
Many landscaping professionals actually prefer fall mulching because it retains soil moisture, suppresses weed growth, and prevents erosion. If you want to lay mulch in the fall, consider these tips for mulching this season.
Fall Mulch Helps Retain Moisture
Spreading mulch in the fall helps lock moisture into the soil. A thick layer of mulch will insulate the dirt from the cold and the dry winter air. Consider how your skin reacts in the winter. You probably apply moisturizer to protect your skin’s barrier from getting dry. Mulch behaves in the same way. After fall mulching, you’ll have hydrated soil that is easier to work with in the spring.
Prevents the Loss of Topsoil
During winter storms, bare topsoil gets blown away in the wind. You might not notice until you realize how shallow your flower beds look in the spring. Soil erosion can be an expensive problem to fix, as you’ll need to buy new topsoil. This can also harm your plants.
Applying mulch in the fall will keep this valuable soil from blowing away. It weighs down the dirt and holds it close to your plants and shrubs.
Stops Weed Growth
You might think weeds are only a problem in the spring and summer, but fall is a crucial time for weed prevention. Applying fall mulch while gardening prevents many weeds from sprouting when the seasons change. As soon as the weather warms up in the spring, your plants will grow rather than the weeds.
Tips for Laying Mulch in the Fall
If you decide to lay mulch this fall, consider these essential factors:
- Mulch Type: Use a quality mulch that looks great in your garden and will last through the winter. Regardless of which mulch you choose, a depth of 3-4 inches in your garden will be sufficient.
- Prepare Garden Beds: Remove all plant debris and pull any weeds that are still around.
- Start Before Winter: You must lay mulch in the fall before the first frost kicks off colder temperatures.
- Tree Mulch: Don’t suffocate your tree with mulch. Mulch piled against the trunk keeps moisture against the tree, softens the bark, and weakens it to pests.
Questions? Lehnhoff’s Supply is Here to Help
If you still have more questions about mulch application during the fall, the trained professionals at Lehnhoff’s Supply are here to help you.
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