The fall season is the advent of a million shades of red, orange, and yellow and also the perfect time to take care of your landscape and prepare it for the upcoming seasons. You need a lot of soil for the yard, garden, and other parts of your property. That’s why you search for “topsoil near me” and get some from a reputed seller nearby. However, do you mulch in the Fall? Let’s check out some of the reasons why you should mulch in the fall:
- Prepare for the upcoming seasons – Mulching can be considered a small gardening chore. You add a layer of organic and insulating matter over the surface of the soil and that protects and beautifies your plants in the upcoming spring season. It also protects trees and lets them make a radical comeback with lush green foliage and bloom when the snow melts. It’s a tiny amount of prep work that goes a long way and brings you multi-season benefits.
Apart from keeping the soil warm, prospecting the roots, and providing the ground with essential nutrients required by the plants, mulching also helps you control the weed population in your property and discourage its growth.
- Enrich the soil – As mentioned above, mulching can help add nutrients to the soil. Mulch is mostly made of organic matter rich in carbon, nitrogen, and minerals. When you cover the soil with organic matter it decomposes over time and the elements are broken down and added to the soil. The added nutrients enrich the soil throughout the fall and winter which keeps the plants strong and encourages healthier shoots and blooms in the spring season.
Nature also reduces its activity during the fall and winter seasons. That’s why adding mulch during the fall provides the earthworms and microbes in the soil with nutritious food and warmth during the winter season. It keeps the delicate ecosystem of the backyard and your garden from dying.
However, you need to choose the right mulch. Don’t take a shortcut and buy cheap plastic mulch. While they are cheap, they also don’t add any nutrients to the soil. Yes, they provide warmth and insulation, but that’s about it. Instead, use pine needles and shredded leaves for your shrubs and ornamental flower beds. Bark chips for your trees and straw for your veggie patches.
- Perennial preservation – Perennial plants come back every year. However, that may not be the case if they don’t get the right treatment. Fall is the perfect time to give your perennials the added care they need. All you need to do is add a generous layer of mulch around the roots and stalks.
When temperatures get cooler, roots near the top of the soil easily get stressed and frostbitten in the worst cases. Insulating them with fine particles like pine straw or leaf compost provides them with ample protection. The finer mulch is easier to break down than coarse and large wood chips and provides the required nutrients during the cold winter season.
- Discourage weed population – Mulch nourishes the soil and provides warmth. However, it’s also a thick layer that blocks out any sunlight from reaching the soil surface. Even the most stubborn weed requires that hit of direct sunlight to sprout and invade your landscape. When you deprive them of sunlight and take up all the real estate they can grow on, you prevent them from taking root and spreading.
Spread around a quarter inch of newspaper mulch around plants or any other location where you don’t want any weed. After the newspapers are in place, top it off with a thick layer of wood chips or straw and grass clippings. Make sure that you don’t use newspaper clippings that are three decades old. You don’t want any toxic ink to get into your soil.
- Combat temperature swings – Fall isn’t just a time of color change in foliage, but also a time of great weather swings in certain regions. If you live in one of those regions, mulching can protect your plants from radical temperature swings. New plants have delicate root systems that aren’t robust enough to tolerate constant cycles of thawing and freezing. Mulching raises the freezing point of the soil and evens out temperature fluctuations to protect the roots.
- Prevent soil erosion – Wintertime is a time of bad weather. The onslaught of wind, rain, snow and other elements of nature can erode soil and destroy your carefully created garden bed. Mulching helps to prevent or at least minimize soil erosion by acting as a buffer between the elements and the soil.
A few inches of mulch around your garden beds, trees, and shrubs can prevent soil erosion and the destruction of the microbes within it. If you live on a slope, you may have to take some extra measures to keep the mulch in place. You can cover organic mulch with plastic sheet mulch to prevent them from sliding off.
- Make those evergreens greener – Unlike deciduous trees, evergreens are a hardy bunch. They have all kinds of adaptations to fight the harsh seasons and stay green all year round. However, taking them for granted is a big mistake. If they don’t get proper care, they can quickly turn brown and dry when the snow starts falling.
Mulching is the ideal protection for your evergreens during the winter season. Observe your evergreens carefully and identify their root flare. It’s the part where the roots branch away from the trunk. Start mulching from that part and extend a few inches around that to create a protective mulch ring. Make sure that the mulch ring has a thickness of 3 to 4 inches.
There are several reasons for mulching in the fall. It helps you save your plants and trees from the harsh winter weather in the next season and also saves you time and labor during the busy spring season. Apart from mulching, you also need soil for your property that you can get by searching for “topsoil near me”.