Common Myths About Landscaping Mulch

Ready to use your gardening shovel in environmentally-friendly wood mulch?

Landscaping is art, but there is a lot of science to go along with it. You can beautify your lawn in a way that is not only environmentally sound, but also attractive. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths out there. Some are grounded in facts, but more often they miss the mark. We're going to set the record straight on a few of the more common myths associated with different types of mulch, including wood mulch. 

1. All mulch is pretty much the same

Unfortunately, no, all mulches were not created equal. Some mulches increase and some lower the acidity of the ground. This is a good thing because some plants thrive on more acidity, some on less. It is best to do your research and buy the right mulch that offers what you need. 

2. I have to buy mulch to make my garden beautiful

Not necessarily. It really depends on the individual needs of the plants in your garden. Sometimes you will have to buy mulch because it offers the best protection and ph balance for your plants. You can absolutely make mulch or use the pine needles in your yard, but it is wise to do the research on what your plants require. 

3. More mulch is better

More mulch is not better. You should only have between two and four inches of mulch around your plants and trees. More than that can choke off nutrients the plants need to grow and thrive. 

4. Trees don't need mulch 

A lot of people put mulch around trees because they don't want to mow the area. It is important to put mulch around a tree to protect it from the heat and drought. The mulch should cover the root structure to do its job properly. Extend the mulch to the tips of the tree branches for the best results. 

5. Leaves and pine needles will mess up my garden

Leaves and pine needles will produce some acidity, but it wont be enough to affect your garden. Till your soil in the spring after the ground thaws with the leaves and pine needles. Apply the appropriate mulch as needed and carry on with your season.

6. I need to use landscape fabric with my wood mulch

This is actually counter- intuitive. You need to use landscape fabric with stone mulch, but with wood mulch it keeps the nutrients from reaching the soil and will prevent the mulch from doing its job overall. 

7. Wood mulch removes nitrogen from the soil

In the instance the opposite occurs, natural wood mulch actually enriches the ground with nitrogen. Nitrogen is a by-product of decaying matter. Sawdust will remove some nitrogen if you use it. but if you buy mulch you should have no problem.