Monday, May 3, 2010

Oh the many colors of mulch

It's spring, and in my yard this year it means it's time for new mulch.  Why should you mulch?  Mulch helps the soil maintain moisture, control weeds, prevents soils erosion, and the bonus is that it makes your garden look beautiful.  So my husband and I jumped in the car (this is when we wished we had a truck) and headed over to one of the local garden stores.  Mulch, it should be easy right?  It's just ground up trees....or is it?  Depending on what region of the United States you live in, there are various choices: pine, cedar, hay, bark chips, pine straw, cocoa shells, nut shells, etc.  I really like the look of cocoa shells, but there are some cons to cocoa shells.  Cocoa shells are light and blow away easily, they usually need to be replaced every year, they can be poisonous to cats and dogs, and, in my case, they smell so good they just make me want to eat chocolate all day.  Pine and bark chips tend to be too big for me.  I have heard that cedar helps keeps slug away, along with other insects.  It also takes about 2-3 years to break down.  Once I made the decision to go with cedar, there are still different colors to choose from.  Decisions, decisions....I know that I will offend someone here, but I hate red mulch.  If my husband had to choose our mulch, our whole yard would be red mulch and white rocks.  So when he said we should go with Western Red Cedar, I wasn't so sure.  However, it turns out it was more brown than it was red.  Three trips to the garden store later, and almost all of our backyard is now covered with new mulch.  For more tips on mulch, visit the NRCS website.
Before new mulch

After New Mulch

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