If you have ever observed a beautifully kept landscape or garden, chances are mulch was used to achieve the appearance. Sometimes mulch is not visible due to it being absorbed back into the soil. This can lead to confusion for some people who may perceive mulch to only serve the purpose of aesthetic enhancements. The following information will give you a better understanding of mulch and its importance in landscaping and gardening. 

Types of Mulch

Mulch can be divided into two distinct categories which are inorganic and organic. The inorganic type is made from materials that are non-living and have never been alive. Examples include pebbles and plastic. Organic mulch is derived from sources that were once living. Examples are tree waste, paper and sawdust. 

Key Benefits of Using Mulch

Weed Control - Mulch aids in thwarting the growth of weeds. This is a benefit that inexperienced gardeners and those who have limited time to weed will appreciate because less time removing weeds means more time doing the enjoyable parts of gardening. It also aids in reducing the chances of weeds overtaking gardening or lawn areas. 

Moisture Control - Hot summers can wreak havoc on plant life. Mulch aids in providing a protective layer between underlying soil and the sun's rays. The benefit passed on to plant life is cool and moist soil even when temperatures are high. Mulching and moderate watering combined will aid in ensuring the ideal balance of soil moisture. 

Freeze Control - Harsh winters can wreak havoc on plant life because freeze and thaw cycles are involved. The application of mulch may aid in reducing the damaging effects of freezing temperatures. Mulch acts as a freeze inhibitor protecting the underlying soil in a similar way that a blanket provides warmth and protection to humans during cold seasons. 

Nutrient Balance - Opting for organic mulch will aid in ensuring that as the mulch disintegrates, it is broken down naturally over time into the soil making it rich in nutrients. You will also get further benefits from earthworm activity in the soil when either type of mulch is used. The worms will be attracted to the protection provided by the mulch, and they will eat bacteria, decomposing organic matter, and fungi, which will aid in the natural removal of these substances.

A landscaping company is the best resource to use if you are unsure about the proper way to use mulch. They can also apply mulch to the ground on your property as needed to ensure that you have fertile soil which is necessary for promoting healthy plant growth. Using a professional landscaping company may also reduce the risk of using mulch that is infested with pests or contaminants that could negatively affect plant life.