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The Mysteries of Mulch

Using mulch can be an essential part of keeping your landscape healthy. In this article, we’ll give you an overview on what mulch is used for, why it’s an important part of your landscape, the different types of mulch, and the best time to mulch during the year.

What is Mulch, and What is it Used For?

Mulch is any material that is spread around over a plant to enrich or insulate the soil. It holds moisture, controls weeds, prevents soil erosion, allows for better plant growth, and enhances the visual aesthetic of the area.

What Types of Mulch Are There?

There are 4 main types of mulch to choose from, each with their own benefits.

Rubber Mulch

Rubber mulch tends to be the most expensive option as it’s made from rubber that’s been chopped up or shaved from tractor trailer tires when they’re being retreaded. It’s popular to use at playgrounds because it’s safer for children and it doesn’t biodegrade and need to be replaced every couple of years. Rubber mulch is also better at insulating soil from heat compared to different wood mulches.

Bark Mulch

Bark mulch is fairly self-explanatory as it comes from the bark of trees. Bark mulch is good for growing plants because it slows moisture evaporation, and as it degrades, it adds nutrients back into the soil. One drawback is that it’s fairly lightweight, so it can be moved around by wind or rain.

Hardwood Mulch

Hardwood mulch retains moisture well and does a good job insulating the soil. It’s mostly useful around plants that don’t need much acidity since it breaks down adding alkaline to the soil. Plants that need higher acid levels will require acid-increasing fertilizer. Hardwood mulch is the easiest to dye and can be available in a large variety of colors.


Rocks and gravel allow for better water flow without absorbing it. Rocks can help the ground stay warm by absorbing the heat from the sun during the day. Then the heat gets released, keeping the ground warm throughout the night. A downside is that other material can build up between the rocks and could prevent air and water from reaching the soil.

When Should You Mulch?

The most popular time to mulch is during the spring. Plants and trees will get a lot of their moisture from the rain that comes in the spring months. Mulching in the spring will ensure that your landscape has a fresh look for summer time and for everyone to see. Other people prefer to mulch in the summer because it can keep plants and landscape cool during the hot summer months. It also retains any moisture that may be in the ground. Some people even prefer to mulch in the fall in order to get their landscape ready for the cooler months to come.

Here at The Tulip Company, we use high quality hardwood mulch when taking care of your plants. While we all know how nice mulch makes your yard look, you should spend your time enjoying it instead of working on it! Let us do the dirty work! We have year round programs to help you get your yard looking it’s best every season.

Call us today to schedule mulch delivery or a free consultation for mulch installation and bed maintenance.

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