May 25, 2012
Almost everyone I know who gardens uses mulch. In the flowerbeds, around the trees, and all over in the landscape you see mulch of all types. Cypress mulch is probably the most familiar, but there are many other types of mulch that can be used. Besides being decorative, mulch is very beneficial for all plants.
A two or three inch deep layer of mulch helps suppress weed growth by smothering. It also helps the soil retain valuable moisture that plants need to grow. As organic mulches decompose, they add important nutrients to the soil, too. Mulching your more tender plants in the late fall can protect them from freezing temperatures and heaving. Nearly all gardens benefit from a layer of mulch in one way or another.
One of the most underused mulches, in my opinion, is grass clippings. It’s also one of the most beneficial (and easy to obtain). Grass clippings decompose rapidly, supplying growing plants with important nitrogen. A layer of clippings applied in the spring will likely need to be added to in mid-summer, but by the time the next spring rolls around, they have deteriorated enough to be worked right into the soil increasing the nitrogen and organic matter content for the next round of plants. Just make sure you use clippings from yards not treated with herbicides as their residue can harm your plants.
Lee's Summit Branch