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Proper Mulching Techniques For Seattle

Proper mulching techniques to help Seattle and North Bend homeowners provide better care of their trees. Eastside Tree Works want you to have all the necessary information to correctly mulch your yard and improve the health of your landscaped areas.

Benefits of proper mulching

Mulching offers real benefits that go far beyond just improving the look of your landscaping.

Why mulching helps in urban areas

Trees growing in urban areas have a different environment than those in a forest setting. Trees in the wild (so to speak) gets nutrients from fallen leaves and other organic material that is constantly breaking down to release nutrients into the soil.

The result is well-aerated soil that’s rich in microorganisms. In other words, it’s the perfect environment for root growth. By comparison, urban settings and new developments often have much worse conditions, such as poor-quality soil with little organic matter.

How mulch differs

You can buy organic and inorganic mulch. Here is more information to help you decide which is right for your yard.

Organic mulch

Organic mulch can be made from many things:  wood chips, pine needles, hardwood or softwood bark, cocoa hulls, leaves, compost mixes or other plant material.

It decomposes at varying rates depending on the material, climate, and soil microorganisms present. How often it needs replenishment is reliant on how fast it decomposes.

Inorganic mulch

Inorganic mulch can consist of different types of stone, lava rock, shredded rubber, or other materials.  These types of material do not decompose and will not need to be replenished as often. Since they don’t break down, they do nothing to improve the quality of the soil as they provide no nutrients.

Improper mulching

The “if some is good, more must be better” rule doesn’t apply to mulch. There is such a thing as too much. It’s true that a thicker layer is better at suppressing weeds but piling it on deeper than the recommended 2-4 inches can be harmful.

If you’re thinking about applying mulch over wet soil areas, you may want to leave the ground bare or use a thin layer of inorganic mulch to prevent problems mentioned above.

Mulching tips for best results

When spreading mulch over well-drained sites, a 2-4” layer is best. Fine mulches should be 2-3“, whereas course blends (wood chips or bark nuggets) should be 3-4” thick.

Follow these proper mulching techniques for the best results. Please contact Eastside Tree Works if you need pruning, removal, or other tree services to keep your Seattle or North Bend property looking its best.