At Independent Tree Services, mulch is a part of every day life. Whether we are cleaning up gardens or lobbing a tree, most of the waste we remove is turned into mulch.
Even the most experienced gardeners know that one of the best weapons to have in your garden is mulch, which is why we create this amazing bi-product as often as we can. There are so many ways that mulch benefits your garden — it helps to keep weeds from coming up, helps to keep in the moisture in your soil and enriches the soil when the mulch is broken down. However, some people are scared of using mulch because they have heard certain myths, which may or may not be true. To help you understand the truth, here is a look at four common myths about mulch.
Wood Mulch Sucks Nitrogen out of the Soil
The simple answer is no, wood mulch will never remove nitrogen from your soil. However, if you laid down sawdust on your gardening bed as a form of mulch then 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.
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 and if you have landscape fabric underneath your wood mulch, it will prevent these nutrients from enriching the soil like they should.
Wood Mulch Will Acidify Your 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 shows 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.
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. Also, you don’t need to reapply mulch every year, although you can check it every spring to see if you need to top it off to get to the desired three-inch depth.
Wood chips attract termites and mice
One of the most common myths about wood mulch is that it will attract pests. 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.