To Mulch or Not To Mulch

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Corporate Landscaping: To Mulch or Not To Mulch

Mulch can be used along the borders of courtyard gardens, around large trees throughout corporate campuses or in plant containers. Whether you are a commercial landscaper, a property manager or a designer, you may be bit curious about mulching. Well, we’ve got some answers to your most common questions or concerns when it comes to corporate settings

Pros

Mulch is considered a necessity among many landscaping professionals because it is known to stabilize soil, prevent erosion, retain moisture and speed up the growing process of plants, trees and flowers. It is also used to disguise soil tops in order to create a uniformed look and prevent the growth of weeds. The only tricky thing is that you have to use the right type and use it in the correct way. 

Cons

The downsides include that it can kill your plants or inhibit growth if you apply too much and low quality mulches can alter the chemical composition of the soil surrounding your plants and it can get a little expensive to replace. Also, wooden mulch has a tendency to stick together and turn matted, while rubber is believed to harm the environment. This is why these types are usually only used in industrial settings and never residential ones. 

Types 

Other than the aforementioned wooden and rubber mulches, there are all types you can purchase to layer on top of ground soil or potting soil in your industrial planters. A few other “bad” types  include plastic barriers, dyed mulch and straw mulch. They’re considered “bad” because they block nutrients from reaching the roots of your plants and they inhibit drainage, thus starving your plants. If you want to stick with a “good” type , it’s best to go with living mulches such as moss mulch, sweet peet or cocoa bark. 

Alternatives

If you aren’t a fan of conventional types , there are a few other things you can use to achieve the same effect. Some landscapers prefer to use rocks, pebbles or gravel when filling certain areas of their designs, some use leaves in more inconspicuous spots and others use grass when filling large sections. Pine needles are also a popular pick because they’re abundantly available, they’re practically FREE and they’re slightly decorative. If weeds are a big concern, you may want to even look at placing a layer of newspaper beneath the top layer of soil in your garden, planters or potted dividers.

As you can see, mulching isn’t necessarily for everyone. Now that you are aware of the different types typically used in commercial landscaping and some popular alternatives, we hope that you can better decide whether mulch should be added to your landscaping checklist or not. If you still aren’t sure about which type is best for your needs or if it would be appropriate for your corporate setting, we suggest consulting with a professional landscaper or landscape designer.

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