The Best Time of Season to Mulch
Somerset, Somerset County, New Jersey
Mulch is best applied in the beginning of the growing season, which is usually mid to late spring, and is often reapplied as necessary.
It is best to lay approximately 3 to 4 inches of mulch only, as excess mulch can smother the roots of trees and promote moisture buildup, which can lead to decay.
Initially mulch serves to warm the soil by helping it to retain heat, which is lost during the night. This allows early seeding and encourages faster growth.
Mulch is applied to soil surfaces to conserve moisture, improve the fertility of soil, reduce weed growth and to enhance the visual appeal of the area. Although mulch is visually appealing, using an excessive amount of mulch can stimulate the growth of common wood-decaying fungus's like Artillery and Shotgun, which are known to distribute black spores as far as 20 feet from its original growth point.
Types of Mulch
There are several types of mulch varieties that vary in type and color, the most popular being the Organic types of Hardwood Chips, Shredded Cedar Chips and Compost, which usually comes Black and Red-Dyed, or in Natural Brown. Other Organic forms of mulch used in landscaping are Hemlock Bark and even Grass Clippings themselves. Inorganic options include Delaware River Rocks, Gravel and Brick Chips.
Going Organic is always the best option as it will naturally decompose, adding vital nutrients to the soil that will not only improve and encourage root growth, but also stimulate soil aeration, control temperature and reduce the need for thatching, as well as aid the soil in retaining moisture. Inorganic options do not decompose, so are more suitably used to alleviate landscape hindrances, such as erosion of the soil and drainage issues.