Experienced gardeners know that one of the best weapons they have in their arsenal is mulch. There are so many ways that mulch benefits your garden. It helps to keep weeds from coming up. It also helps to keep your soil moist. In addition, mulch enriches the soil when it breaks down. However, some people are scared of using mulch because they have heard myths about it. To help you understand the truth, here is a look at five common myths about mulch.
1. Mulch Will Attract Pests
One of the most common myths about wood mulch is that it will attract pests. People say in particular that termites will come flocking to any spot where bark mulch is present. That is simply untrue. While termites would eat wood mulch if it was the only way to keep from starving, there are many other readily available wood sources that are much tastier to them. Any termite that is in your yard will be much more likely to start feeding on your home than on your mulch.
2. Wood Mulch Sucks Nitrogen out of the Soil
This myth would be laughable if so many people didn’t actually believe it. No, wood mulch will never remove nitrogen from your soil. If you dumped a bunch of sawdust on your gardening bed as a form of mulch, that might tie up some nitrogen. However, regular bark mulch will never rob your plants of oxygen. In fact, the opposite is true. As it breaks down over time, wood chips will actually release nitrogen into the soil.
3. You Should Use Landscape Fabric with Wood Mulch
If you use any kind of stone mulch, you do need to use landscape fabric. However, it is actually the wrong choice to use it with any kind of wood mulch. Your soil benefits when the wood breaks down and releases nutrients into the soil. If you have landscape fabric underneath your wood mulch, it will prevent these nutrients from enriching the soil like they should.
4. Wood Mulch Will Acidify Your Soil
Another common myth that people seem to cling to is that wood mulch acidifies the soil. While it is important that your soil be the right pH, you don’t have to worry about wood mulch changing it. Some research has shown that wood mulch will very slightly acidify the very top of the soil, but this slight acidification will never reach down to the roots to affect plant growth.
5. More Mulch Is Better
You want a three-inch layer of mulch. If you use any more than that, you will keep oxygen and moisture from getting down into the roots of your plants. You don’t need to reapply mulch every year as a standard practice. You should measure it every spring to see if you need to top it off to get to the desired three-inch depth.
As you can see, there is a lot of nonsense about mulch floating out there. You don’t need to believe these myths anymore. If you hear anyone sharing any of these myths, now you have the facts to set them straight. Ask the knowledgeable folks at Melvin Mulch for more info.