The Importance of Mulch

Whatever happens above the soil level, directly affects what happens below the soil level and vice versa.

Proper mulching is so important that there is actually an ANSI standard for it.

Have you ever heard of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)? ANSI is the voice of U.S. standards and conformity that helps assure the safety and health of consumers and the environment.

Some key points:

– Mulch should be between 2-4 incnes depth

– Synthetics, crushed stone, volcanic rock are not considered mulch

– Fabrics, weed cloth, impervious plastic sheeting are not to be used under mulch.

A healthy root system requires soil with adequate gas exchange. It’s as important as water. Anything that impedes that gas exchange is detrimental to your trees and plants. That‚Äôs why it‚Äôs best to forego pervious fabrics too.

Benefits of Mulch

– Moderates soil temperature

– Lowers pH

– Reduces salt buildup

– Source of organic matter

– Improves fertility

– Reduces compaction

– Suppresses weeds

– Reduces reflection which helps retain moisture

– Reduces competition with turf

– Decreases disease

Are you familiar with mycorrhiza? Mycorrhiza is the symbiotic or mutualistic relationship between fungi and the roots of plants. The benefits of healthy mycorrhiza are innumerable – everything from increased drought and pathogen resistance to enhanced vigor and growth. Mulch promotes healthy mycorrhiza.

And remember, do not mulch too close to your tree trunk. Keep your root flare visible. The root flare is where the trunk and roots merge. If you’re not sure what the root flare is, a good guide is to keep mulch at least 1 foot away from your trunk.