Diapers to enhance your flower garden
If you follow the gardener's adage of spending $ 9 of your $ 10 gardening budget on the well, and $ 1 on the plant, part of that $ 9 should go to the mulch. With so many colors, textures, and materials to choose from, flower gardeners must carefully invest in this soil construction essential.
Best mulch for flower beds
The best mulch is the one you are willing to keep. Some gardeners swear by compost or manure for its enriching properties; others demand special toppings such as cocoa bean shells for their ornamental value. Experiment and invest in the one that suits your landscape and climate.
Organic or inorganic mulch?
In reference to mulch, organic does not mean the absence of chemicals. Organic mulches are derived from living things, like shredded bark, grass clippings, leaves, and even paper. Examples of inorganic mulch include plastic, rocks, or aluminum foil.
The Dyed Mulch Choice
The padded dyed red, brown, and black are displayed in landscapes around the world. The product is generally waste wood (such as shipping pallets) shredded and sprayed with a variety of stains. Mulch is 20-40% more expensive than traditional mulch, and the vivid color can steal the show from your flowers. The color will fade over time, making the landscape seem reminiscent of a neglected office park.
However, some gardeners like the aesthetics of dyed mulch, and the fashion continues.
Rocks like flower mulch
There are advantages and disadvantages to rock mulches. The rocks do not break and therefore provide a semi-permanent mulch (even rocks scatter over time). Rocks will not improve your soil and may appear messy when dead plant material accumulates on them.
Reserve rock mulches for alpine flowers, which thrive on rocky sites in the wild.
If you are concerned that your gigantic sunflowers or hollyhocks will fall and get hurt, use rubber mulch. If not, save this product for playgrounds, or if you want the underfoot cushioning feel, use it on your garden trails. The rubber mulch does nothing to modify the soil, and the pieces have an unpleasant way of migrating throughout the landscape, creating a field of rubble that never disappears.
Fresh Wood Chip Mulch
Horticulturists warn of the dangers of fresh wood chips that steal nitrogen from the soil as the wood decomposes. Fresh shavings are safe to use as mulch, as long as they don't mix with the soil. Finely ground sawdust can hang out in the rain or blow in a dry climate and can make better mulch when mixed with straw or crumbled bark.
Landscape Fabric Pros and Cons
Well maintained, there is nothing wrong with the landscape fabric in the flower garden. However, gardeners try to camouflage it with wood chips, and the chips eventually break down. So, weed seeds can germinate on top of the fabric, creating a profane mess that bears no resemblance to the maintenance-free garden the gardener intended when he installed the fabric.
Living Mulch overtakes it
Live mulch is another term for cover crops, more common in agriculture. Plants like clover, buckwheat, annual rye, or alfalfa are grown in an empty garden bed and then grown in the soil to enrich it. Also known as green manures, these crops are generally used in fallow vegetable beds. Flower gardeners preparing a new bed may find a live mulch useful to prevent erosion and add organic matter to the soil before planting flowers.
Mulch and soil pH
Gardeners with camellia or azalea plants can look for pine needles to help acidify the soil. In fact, any organic mulch will slightly increase the acidity of the soil as it decomposes, including shredded leaves and compost. Aged pine needles have an average pH of 6.0, a slightly acidic pH that allows most flowering plants to thrive.
Can I quilt with this?
Here is a list of 25 organic and inorganic mulches to experiment with flower beds. Not all mulches will be available in your area; check your region for sawmills or food processing centers for waste products. Save the most expensive padding in this list for your containers or the edge front of your bedding:
- 1Alfalfa hay adds nitrogen to the soil. You can use freshly chopped alfalfa that has not been planted.
- 2Aluminum foil can repel slugs and aphids and reflects light on plants.
- 3The bark nuggets are ornamental and durable.
- 4Black plastic is great for smothering difficult weeds in new gardens.
- 5Buckwheat hulls have an attractive dark brown color and a fine texture.
- 6The burlap must be made of 100% natural jute to decompose in the soil.
- 7The cardboard can be covered with a thin layer of bark chips to disguise it.
- 8Cocoa bean hulls smell good and add an attractive reddish-brown color.
- 9The cafés can be free at your local cafe.
- 10Compost is a great choice for any flower that needs a nutrient booster.
- 11Corn stalks work well mixed with other materials for a no-till garden.
- 12Grass clippings should be dried before application to avoid odors.
- 13Ground corn cobs will not evaporate and enrich the soil with nitrogen.
- 14The vegetable cloth should be maintained annually to prevent weeds from anchoring it to the ground.
- 15Lava rocks are ideal for rock gardens.
- 16The leaves improve soil tillage, especially when cut.
- 17The newspaper works well on the roads; top with wood chips.
- 18Pine needles will not compact and slightly acidify the soil.
- 19Rice husks are not widely available; use this lightweight material in containers.
- 20Salt hay does not transport weed seeds, as the material comes from salt marshes.
- 21Sawdust is fine if you don't mix it on the ground.
- 22Seaweeds (rinsed with freshwater) do not need compost; add directly to the flower beds.
- 23Sphagnum moss is expensive and works best in small containers.
- 24The stones are fine for rock gardens but avoid limestone to avoid pH changes.
- 25Wood chips are cheap, widely available, and suitable for most gardens.