Mulch is your yard’s best friend. It is a soil covering used to conserve moisture and heat in the soil and suppress weeds, resulting in low-maintenance lawn and garden care. Mulch can create an attractive and uniform look in your garden. However, one type of mulch that accumulates in grass lawns is thatch, and too much thatch causes problems for your lawn. Consider how mulching and thatching affect your garden.
Most mulch is made of organic material. Wood chips are excellent for conserving water, and good in climates where rain is sparse. Shredded leaves and grass clippings are easy to save and store for later use as mulch in your garden. Speak with a professional landscaper about when is the best time to apply mulch.
Rocks are not only useful as a design material, but they can act as mulch. They conserve heat and transfer that heat to plants to boost their growth. Some types of rocks retain water, especially lava rock.
One low-maintenance mulching method that professional landscapers use is the lasagna garden method. They start by putting newspaper or cardboard down first to suppress weeds and other plants, avoiding glossy newspaper pages since they break down slowly and may have toxic inks. Landscapers will then typically alternate layers of leaves, wood chips, and grass with finished compost or soil. Afterward, many professionals will immediately plant garden or flower beds. The layers will eventually break down into compost for plants, providing continual nutrients with little initial effort.
Thatching is a natural process where roots, stems, and other organic materials build up in your lawn. In your grass, it often looks like a layer of dry grass and dirt. A thin layer of thatch acts as beneficial mulch for your lawn.
Excess thatch can start to smother grass as well as harbor diseases and pests. It can be removed in a process called dethatching. Dethatching may require a professional to remove the thatching without damaging your lawn.
A mulch that works for your neighbor might not work for the needs of your low-maintenance lawn and garden. Experts can guide you in choosing the best type of mulch for your yard. They can also tell you if your lawn needs dethatching or has the potential for thatch to develop quickly.