Skip The Herbicide In Your Garden With These Mulch Materials

Few things can bring color and style to your yard like a well-planted garden. Unfortunately, without some advanced preparation to keep weeds at bay, that beautiful garden will quickly become over-run. You may think that you need to treat the area with herbicides to keep the weeds away, but there are other more natural options. Here are a few mulch products you can use as a weed barrier so that you can skip the herbicides.

Gravel Products

If you live in an area where the average temperatures are fairly cool or you have a low-water garden such as a succulent garden, gravel makes an ideal mulch product. The stone can soak up heat, which creates an insulating layer of warmth for when the air temperatures drop. Despite the fact that it works well in cooler climates, it's not ideal for warm environments, because the plant roots may overheat.

Chips or Shredded Bark

Bark mulch is usually sold in a shredded form and comes in many different wood types, including cedar and pine. Wood decomposes slowly, making bark mulch safe for the environment. Just remember that when bark mulch decomposes, it draws nitrogen out of the soil. That means you'll want to consider adding a nitrogen-rich fertilizer before you spread it if the soil is low in nitrogen.

Cocoa Hulls

If you want a mulch that's unusual, think about investing in cocoa hulls. The deep color makes it a unique material, and the subtle chocolate fragrance you'll find around your garden is unmistakable. Although cocoa hulls are one of the most expensive mulch products, they're also among the longest lasting. Cocoa hulls break down slowly, and they're not susceptible to sun bleaching, either. If you don't have a fence to keep the neighborhood animals out, though, skip this mulch. It's not safe for dogs or cats to eat.

Dry Straw

Dry straw serves as an insulating mulch around most plants, and it gives your garden a soft, golden look. The light shade of straw will blend nicely with the greens in the garden. Look for straw that's free of any seeds so that you don't harbor any weed seeds when you lay it down to avoid introducing any weeds to the garden.

With these mulch products, you can block the sun from any weed seeds that may be trying to germinate. This will help to keep the weeds at bay while also making your garden look elegant. Talk with American Lawn and Tree Specialists Inc or another local lawn care service about your options to choose the best one for your yard.