7 Benefits Of Wood Chip Mulch in the Garden

Wood chip mulch is an excellent addition to your garden and the soil in your garden. If you don’t believe us then take a look at the pros below.

1.         It Helps Preserve Moisture in The Soil

The soil loses lots of moisture through evaporation when the day is hot and dry. Applying wood chip mulch over the garden and the yard, however, reduces the rate at which water evaporates from the soil. This leaves the garden/yard with plenty of water to use when there’s little to no rainfall. Mulching also eliminates the need to water your plants often.  You should, however, consider raking and fluffing the mulch to increase its efficiency.

2.         Wood Chips Decompose Releasing Nutrients into The Soil

Although many people will go for synthetic and rubber mulches, these inorganic materials do not add any value to your soil. Woodchip and other organic materials, however, break down over time releasing nutrients and other elements into the gardens and beds. This leaves your garden more nutrient-rich than it initially was. The decomposed wood chips improve your garden’s soil profile while making it more fertile. This thus means you can start seeing healthier and even record better harvests over time.

3.         Wood Chip Mulch Can Repel Some Pests

Certain trees are known to repel most common household pests naturally. These include cedar, pine, and cypress. Using wood chips from these trees for mulching your flowerbeds and gardens can, therefore, help repel flea populations and a few other pests from the garden. The mulch will also do an excellent job of getting rid of ticks and gnats from both the garden and around the house. Although wood chip mulch can be advantageous in the garden, it can be a fire hazard and even attract some pests if kept close to the home. That said, you should only mulch plants away from the house, and especially flowerbeds, garden, and around trees.

4.         Improves Soil Temperature for Winter Plants

Mulch your garden to protect against the ravages of winter. At the correct depth, a layer of mulch will help preserve soil temperature through the winter period. The mulching material provides an insulative layer around the plant’s roots, thus enabling them to continue growing healthy during winter. Many seasoned gardeners use this trick as a way to continue producing fresh fruit and vegetables even when conditions are unfavorable for plant growth. Wood chip mulch has proven to be an effective way to reduce winter shock to perennial plants in the garden.

5.         Mulching Helps with Weed Control

Mulching provides an organic way to prevent weed growth in the garden.  The layer of mulch (preferably 2-4 inches thick) suffocates unwanted plants, thus making it hard to grow to the surface. With your plants already getting plenty of sunshine and air, they can continue growing healthy and strong without the competition. Experts also recommend mulching your garden a few days after transplanting the plants to suppress weed growth. It wouldn’t also be wise to mulch your garden before the seeds have germinated. Doing this will make it almost impossible for the seedlings to penetrate to the surface or grow healthy. Shrubs and trees can also use mulching as well.

6.         Mulching Prevents Soil Erosion

Wood chip mulch does more than preserve soil moisture; it inhibits soil erosion on bare soil. The organic materials lock together, creating a barrier hard enough to keep wind and water from washing away soil and its nutrients. While the wood chips will help keep the soil protected from erosion, they can also be a pain when you want to grow crops in the garden too. The shield created can become tough and hard to break through. Nonetheless, raking and fluffing the chips prevents this from happening. This leaves the surface soft and easy to till when the need arises.  You, however, shouldn’t disturb the mulch too much if concerned about the soil’s stability.

7.         Wood Chip Mulch Helps Preserve Nutrients in The Soil

Mulching prevents soil erosion and extreme evaporation, which again preserves nutrients already in the soil. It is for this reason gardens that were previously mulched have a higher natural nutrient level than those that hadn’t. Although plants in mulched gardens tend to grow healthy and strong, it wouldn’t be advisable to add decomposing items such as food remains and eggshells to the mulch. Doing this will only attract rodents and other pests into the garden. Consider starting a compost pile at one corner of the garden or home in bags for the best results.

If you have been thinking of mulching your garden but weren’t sure what material to use, consider using wood chips first. While they may not last as long as synthetic mulch, wood chip mulch is more beneficial to your plants and the soil profile, hence a much better option.

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