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Using Mulches in Cold Climate Gardens

Winter Mulching Tips-bark-mulch

Bark mulch

The use of mulches in the landscape and gardens serves many purposes, besides being used for beautification, suppressing weeds, conserving moisture, increasing microbial activity, keeping the soil temperature cool, helping to adjust the soil’s ph, adding nutrients, and helping to build soils mulches are also used to protect the roots of garden plants during the winter months.

If you haven’t already now is the time to use this all-natural material that has so many benefits. This way of gardening is smart and has proven to be effective in maintaining plants. Here’s what to consider when preparing your garden plants for the cold months ahead.

When should I start mulching in my winter garden?

The ideal time to begin mulching is during the fall right before the chilly weather sets in, winter mulching will help in protecting the plant’s roots from the extreme cold along with discouraging garden plants from producing new growth from the warmth of the sun that will winter burn and dieback.

Types of mulches

Biodegradable

Winter Mulching Tips-dry-leaves

Dry leaves

Non-biodegradable

Non-biodegradable or inorganic mulches are mine or man-made these mulches are as followed.

Winter Mulching Tips-gravels

Gravels

  • Rocks
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Rubber mulch
  • Gravel
  • Rocks
  • Landscape fabric

While non-biodegradable mulches have their place in the garden there are limitations one of them being not able to protect the roots of plants when the ground is frozen because of their structure. The flip side of the coin is when it comes to biodegradable or organics it’s quite different.

Biodegradable is naturally derived from organic materials making them the perfect fit, besides being easy to remove once the winter months have passed.

How to mulch?

A 2-4 inch layer of mulch is ideal for garden plants to be well insulated from the frozen ground.

Mulch removal

You may be saying, why remove the mulch that winter has passed and spring is here? because mulches serve the above-mentioned benefits they should stay. I hear you speaking, but it’s important for mulches to be removed because when spring arrives garden plants need all the help they can get to begin to flourish and bloom once more.

The removal of mulches will make it easier for the sun’s rays to make direct contact with the ground warming the soil along with the plant’s roots that will encourage top growth or new growth.

Additional information

If your area doesn’t get beyond the point where it freezes during the winter months you may not need to apply mulches.

The final word on winter mulching tips

I know you will agree that mulches have their place in the landscape and garden areas, I have worked with mulches for years both on indoor and outdoor projects and have seen what they can do. If your desire is to protect your garden plants during the cold winter months then this all-natural material (mulches) is the right choice so prepare your plants as they enter this time of the year helping them through winter time so when spring arrives they will wake up from their long winter nap painting your gardens and landscapes once again with their different shades of colors.

4 comments

  1. Nina says:

    We also make a mulch every autumn in a certain area where we have more delicate flowers. We always use biodegradable species, the ones we have at our disposal – most often from mowed grass, leaves, and compost, because in this way we also provide them with some natural fertilizer when this mulch decomposes.
    I really agree that mulches for outdoor gardens are very helpful. Thanks for the great presentation and all the tips in the article Winter Mulching Tips, amateur gardeners always benefit from such advice.
    Friendly greeting,
    Nina

    1. Norman says:

      Its so good to hear that and I am so happy to help. Wishing you continued success.

  2. Alex says:

    Hey, great information on mulches! My parents are kinda obsessed with their garden and they are always looking for new ways for it to look perfect. Last year, winter was harsher than usual, and ended up screwing some of their plants. I am thinking they spread the mulch way too soon, as some weeks passed before the real chilling weather kicked in. I will advise them on doing it closer to the coldest weeks this time around.

    Thank you!

    1. Norman says:

      You are welcome and I am so happy to help. Hope that this information will help your parents.

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