Mulching: Exploring its many benefits

September 29, 2014

There are a lot of beneficial things you can do for your garden. However, mulching should make it to your list of top priorities.

Simplified, it is defined as the act of putting a protective barrier (mulch) over bare soil and around plants. What makes this simple method highly recommended?

Top 7 Mulch Benefits

While the list of advantages of using mulch is rather long, we have compiled seven of its biggest benefits.


1. Helps control the growth of weeds.

  • Undoubtedly, using mulch can help you curb the presence of unwanted plants like weeds from occupying your garden.
  • Acting as a barrier, it effectively blocks the amount of sunlight that find its way into the unwelcome garden dwellers.




2. Assists in moisture retention.

  • Mulches are good at water absorption, especially the organic kind. However, both non-organic and organic varieties can be relied upon to minimize water evaporation.
  • While not many are aware of it, water retention, especially during the hot and dry months will not only prove beneficial to plants, but it can also help dramatically reduce your water bills.


3. Helps control garden pests.

  • Certain varieties of mulch like the cedar bark have been proven effective in deterring garden pests. This ability has been credited to the natural oil found in its bark which also functions as an insect repellent.
  • As a general rule of thumb, opt for mulch varieties that emit a strong fragrance as those types are believed to be very effective in keeping insects at bay.


Bark Chips. Copyright City of Frisco, Texas, via Flickr.

Copyright City of Frisco, Texas, via Flickr.


4. Helps maintain nutrients in the soil.

  • Apart from ensuring the nutrients found in the soil are not washed away during downpours, mulches also facilitate the release of nutrients in the soil. This is especially true if you are using organic mulch.
  • In addition, organic varieties will slowly decompose while on top of the soil so it will eventually end up as fertilizers.


5. Helps avert soil erosion.

  • Mulching has been proven to not only effectively keep existing water trapped, but it’s also known to efficaciously prevent rainwater from washing your soul away.
  • And because it breaks the fall of water on the ground, it lessens the force of its impact, thereby minimizing soil erosion in the process.


6. Helps attract earthworms to move in.

  • Generally, organic mulches are very effective in attracting earthworms to take residence in your garden soil.
  • As many gardeners can attest to, earthworms can help enhance both nutrient cycling and soil structure.


Earthworm. Copyright United Nations Development Programme, Flickr.

Copyright United Nations Development Programme, via Flickr.


7. Helps in polishing up your garden.

    • If you are looking into doing a rain garden project, consider using mulch to give you that finished look you want. Apart from effectively filling in all the empty spaces, it is also deemed as one of the easiest fillers to manage.
    • Unlike other fillers like groundcovers and grass, mulch does not need extensive upkeep like watering and moving. Also, it does not compete with your garden plants for nutrients.


Undeniably, mulching comes with numerous advantages that are hard to miss. That being said, apart from finding the right turf suppliers and observing proven gardening methods, it is recommended that you make mulching a regular part of your routine garden upkeep.

Guest Blog by Maya Pugh

10 comments on "Mulching: Exploring its many benefits"

  1. My husband and I recently bought our first home and we want to put a garden in our backyard where we can successfully grow fruits and vegetables. I did not realize that there are so many benefits of using mulch in your garden because I have never heard of it before! You make a great point that mulch will not only control the growth of weeds but also help to maintain the nutrients in the soil. This would definitely give my husband and me a better chance of growing large, healthy fruits and vegetables if we can keep the nutrients in the soil during the entire growth process.

  2. The local forest near me might benefit from mulching services to help control the growth of weeds which will help keep the local flowers healthy. Since it will keep insects at bay, it should help keep pests away from my house as well. We’re trying to preserve the forest so averting soil erosion using mulching will be beneficial to our town so I might consider it.

  3. Bree Ward says:

    My mother is planning to have a garden in our backyard, and she is now looking for landscaping services in the area. Your article is helpful because you just educated me on how mulch can be beneficial to a garden. As you’ve said it can deter garden pest and prevent the growth of garden weeds. I will let my mother know about this so that she can consider mulching her future garden.

  4. I own a house with a rather large back and front yard, and I’ve decided that I’m going to add some plants to them since I’m planning to redecorate everything. Thanks for saying that mulching has been proven effective in deterring garden pests, so I might decide to buy some pallets in bulk. I think I’ll start looking for some soon since I’ll need a lot in the long run.

  5. I found it interesting when you explained that one of the advantages of mulching your lawn is that it helps encourage the release of nutrients in the soil. When I was visiting my parents last week, I noticed that their yard had a lot of dead spots. I think it would be a good idea for them to find a landscaping company that can come and mulch their yard for them.

  6. Thank you for mentioning that mulching can help protect your garden from weeds. I want to keep my home’s garden free of weeds, so I’m considering hiring a mulching service this month. I’m going to look for a good provider of mulching services in my area to hire.

  7. Kate Hansen says:

    I never knew that it could help with weeds. My sister was wondering what she should add to her garden. I’ll pass this information along to her so that she can know the benefits of mulching.

  8. I find it convenient that mulching your landscape can beef its defenses towards pests and prevent rainwater damage. I want to help my colleague with his idea of reusing his backyard into a playground for his kids. He should probably start with this project for his lawn!

  9. Braden Bills says:

    I’m trying to control weed growth in my garden, but I’m not sure how to go about it. It’s good to know that proper mulching can help out with this kind of thing. I’ll be sure to get a professional to help out with this.

  10. Controlling garden pests with mulching definitely sounds like something I can get behind. Pests and weeds, in particular, are some things that I want to avoid as much as possible so it won’t be much of a hassle to maintain our yard. Once I find a landscaping expert in the area, I’ll definitely make sure I ask them to teach me how to mulch properly.

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