You’ve probably heard it said that you should take everything in moderation … or you can get too much of a good thing. But mulch is one of those things that provides benefit the more you use. It benefits your garden at every time of the year in a number of important ways

Mulching in the Spring

Spring is an ideal time to prepare your garden beds with mulch. During the spring, mulch helps to nourish and protect your soil and keep the weeds down. It also helps retain moisture which is so important as we experience drier summers.

Another reason we recommend mulching in the spring is that it helps you take some control of your garden. Proper mulching can reduce the need to weed by as much as 75-85%!

Mulching in the Fall

In the fall, mulch protects the soils from the cold and rains. This protection is vital for the micro organisms in the soil. Protecting them provides the long term health of your garden. Mulch in the fall also continues to keep weeds to a minimum. Unless you love weeding in the spring, mulching saves time and the health of your plants

What type of mulch to use?

Leaf or bark mulch is excellent for many reasons;

  • keeping weeds down,
  • cutting down on watering time,
  • feeding and protecting your soils from compaction and exposure,
  • improving your plant’s overall health.

Leaf mulch breaks down quicker than bark mulch so it provides quicker nutrient to the micro organism that feed the plants. Leaf mulch is the choice if your garden is in need of nutrient now. Bark mulch takes about twice to three times as long to break down than leaf mulch and is an ideal choice after you have used leaf mulch for a season or two. Whatever choice you make, choose to mulch sooner than later. Your garden will love you for it!

Colin Eaton, Garden City Tree and Landscape Ltd., Victoria, B.C.