Using mulch in your landscape is a great decision, as it keeps your plant roots moist, combats weeds, and makes the area look polished and clean. However, there is such a thing as using too much mulch, and it can have a detrimental impact on your plants and landscape. Continue reading to learn about the negative effects of over-mulching your landscape and how to ensure you use the correct amount.
You should be spreading about two inches of mulch in the spring to help your garden beds retain moisture and to deter weeds from growing. Using any more than two inches of mulch is not good for trees or shrubs, and can ultimately suffocate your plants’ roots. Too much mulch will leave your soil soggy and encourage plant disease, so be sure to measure the proper amount before applying.
Some people can get carried away with their mulch application, as they are unaware that there is a limit to how much mulch they should be using. Therefore, they may pile on a lot of mulch right up against the tree, resulting in a “mulch volcano.” These mulch volcanoes will trap moisture against the tree bark and encourage disease and root rot. When applying mulch to your landscape, it’s crucial to keep mulch two or three inches away from tree trunks to keep them healthy.
Signs Of Over-Mulching
If you are unsure if you’ve used too much mulch, it’s essential to keep an eye out for telling signs. Start by checking your tree’s root flare- the area where the topmost root emerges from the trunk. If the root flare is buried under mulch, you’ve used too much. Trees need room to breathe, so the root should always remain uncovered and above ground. Other signs to look out for include trees with smaller than normal leaves, dead branches, soft bark at the base of the tree, and leaves that are dropping earlier than usual.
Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare
Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately-owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborist specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a lawn and total landscape care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.
We offer services in Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia, including Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, and Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!