What is mulch?

Technically, mulch is any protective covering spread over soil to help reduce unwanted weeds and erosion while providing benefits such as soil enrichment and moisture retention. When we say “mulch,” we are talking about the organic type typically made from chipped or shredded trees as it is the most widely used in our region.

The color of mulch can vary from untreated, earthy tones to artificially dyed red, black, and even purple. Of course, color is a matter of preference, but our favorite is chocolate. This dark brown mulch compliments our natural landscape and holds it’s rich color far longer than untreated varieties.

What are the benefits of mulch?

We’re glad you asked! Mulch benefits your gardens and landscape beds in many ways. Freshly installed mulch gives your home’s exterior a clean, cared for appearance. It acts as a backdrop for the vibrant colors of your trees, shrubs, and perennials while giving the planted areas of your yard shape and definition. Beyond aesthetics, the main benefits of mulch include:

Moisture Retention

Moisture Retention

Evaporation occurs much faster when your landscape soil is left uncovered which causes you to use more water to keep your plants healthy.

Weed Suppression

Weed Suppression

Mulch, at the proper thickness, acts as an effective weed barrier because it prevents weeds from gaining a foothold in your landscape soil.

Nutrient Replenishment

Nutrient Replenishment

Organic mulches break down over time. As mulch decomposes, it releases nutrients back into the soil where they can be used by your ornamental plants.

Winter Protection

Winter Protection

During our cold Nebraska winters, mulch protects the root systems of our trees, shrubs, and perennials by insulating them from sub-freezing temperatures.

How much does mulch cost?

That depends on a few variables. What type of mulch do you prefer? Are you doing it yourself, and if so, are you planning to buy bags, or have it delivered in bulk? Maybe you would like us to install it for you? These are just a few of the questions you might want to ask yourself when your landscape beds start to look a little bare.

When should you re-mulch?

Over time, organic mulches decompose, blow away with the wind, or wash away with heavy rains. As this happens, it is important to occasionally add fresh mulch. The proper thickness of a mulch layer is 3”- 4”. We recommend annual re-mulching to make sure your landscape beds always look their best, but the bottom line is that you should re-mulch when the thickness falls beneath this threshold.

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Start Every Spring Off Right

CM's provides annual spring cleanup and re-mulch services and we'd be happy to discuss your specific mulch needs with you!
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Are there alternatives to organic mulch?

Yes. Using stone such as river rock is the most common alternative to organic mulch, but there are other options when choosing the groundcover that’s right for you. All of them have their pros and cons. We cover a few of the main categories below.