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Types of Mulch: How to Choose The Best Mulch for Your Garden

Garden mulch is one of the most tried and true methods for fortifying your garden bed. While the initial process can be time-consuming, in the long run, it will save you time and effort in garden maintenance. Mulch, when done correctly, saves time on watering, weeding, and fighting potential pests. While contributing to overall garden health and well-being, different types of mulch are specifically beneficial to deliver more prosperous flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

The Different Types of Mulch for your Gardening and Landscaping

Sugar Cane Mulch

As the name would suggest, sugar cane mulch is constructed from dried cane leaves, tops, and other offcuts or scraps compiled from harvesting sugar cane. It’s a cheaper alternative to other mulch types and is the ideal choice for growing vegetables and can be laid around the bases of small fruit trees and shrubbery. As the sugar cane mulch breaks down, it slowly releases nutrients and provides and natural organic material into the soil. To be most effective, cane mulch should be laid in thicknesses of around 50 – 75mm and should be thoroughly soaked on initial application.

Lucerne Mulch

Lucerne mulch, also known as lucerne hay, or Alfalfa in North America, is a common type of animal feed that can double as garden mulch given its nutrient-rich properties. Lucerne contains several important vitamins and minerals including iron, folic acid, potassium, and calcium to name a few. Specific to garden and mulching applications, it increases nitrogen in the soil, helps to retain moisture, stimulates root growth, provides food to worms to maintain overall soil health, and more. When using lucerne mulch, best results can be found when laid in thicknesses of 25 – 75mm, while keeping it thin around the immediate base of the plant. Its prominent moisture retention properties can sometimes work as a detriment if allowed to pile too close to the stems and can promote rot.

Wood Chip Mulch

Perhaps the most basic and widely available mulch is wood chip mulch. Organic wood chip mulch is a very reliable and affordable garden mulch. It has beneficial protective benefits as well as positive contributions, to overall garden health. Wood chip mulch is best applied in 50mm thicknesses to promote moisture retention, temperature control, and weed and pest prevention. Wood mulch can sometimes be prone to sprays or pesticides, if you’re unsure of the sources of your mulch, let it sit out for an extended period in the elements to allow for the breakdown of potential pesticides or herbicides. Another precaution when using chip mulch, as with other mulches, avoid grouping around the base of trees or shrubbery as it can promote rot.

Straw Mulch

Perhaps one of the more basic mulch types, straw mulch is also one of the most overlooked types of mulch. Straw mulch is best suited for vegetable patches. Coming in various combinations, it can sometimes include hay which is known to lead to weed seedling. Being a lighter weighted mulch, straw is cleaner in composition and breaks down easily overtime to provide your vegetable garden the nutrients it needs. As it is compacted in bales, a little can go a long way in terms of coverage. The best practice is to place it around the base of the bed in thicknesses of 80 – 150mm while keeping it away from the leaves or external stems.

No matter what kind of mulch you’re after, we can help find a solution for your garden!

With over 20 different types of mulch available, Centenary Landscaping has the best selection of mulch supplies Brisbane wide! If you need sugar cane mulch, lucerne mulch, wood chip mulch, or straw mulch, we can help you! Call us on 07 3373 4999 or fill in our online form today!

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