With budding plants and the sun peeking through the grey more often these days, it’s easy to get excited about improving our yards. While sleek new paver patios and flashy flowers get most of the attention, now is also a great time to take care of some of those often neglected tasks such as spreading a fresh coat of bark mulch in your beds. Adding approximately 2-3 inches of decomposed bark mulch to your planting beds each year provides many benefits:
- Increased insulation during cold snaps;
- Added water retention during summer heat;
- Improved soil health by reducing compaction;
- Weed suppression;
- It looks good!
To really give your plants a head start, opt for compost instead of mulch. This adds nutrients into the soil and helps improve the structure of the soil. For example, if soil is heavy with clay, compost can help lighten it up. The downside of compost? While your plants will love it, weeds are also plants – and they love compost too.
Whether adding mulch or compost, remember to keep it an inch or two away from the base of your plants, including shrubs and trees. If soil, compost, mulch, etc. is against the trunks of woody plants, it can lead to rot or help insect damage go unnoticed.
We often recommend a compost blend or dark hemlock – it’s a “sliverless” variety, and the dark color looks great. It’s an easy and relatively inexpensive way to give your yard a fresh, polished look. A few places in the Portland Metro area where you can find good quality bark mulch and compost include:
Blessing Landscapes can make your yard look like new again. Contact us to discuss a plan that’s right for you.