Proudland News

Your Complete Landscape Solutions Newsletter

April 2005


Mulch Does More Than Hide the Dirt      


Mulch serves at least four important functions in the landscape.

N ow that Spring is hear and the last leaves have fallen–or have almost fallen–it is time to be sure the mulch in your beds is sufficient and replenished. Mulch is basically a layer of material which covers the soil in your beds. It can be organic or inorganic. Typically I recommend organic because it provides a fuller range of benefits and fewer hassles.

Mulch provides a number of benefits in your landscape: 1) Dress up and beautify your bedded and naturalized areas. 2) Conserve soil moisture and protect roots from drying out. 3) Stabilize soil temperatures, preventing shock to plants from unexpected frosts and hot days. 4) Replenish valuable organic matter to the soil as the mulch breaks down, organic matter provides the crucial carbon necessary for development of new plant cells, and creates rich soil for roots to easily grow in. 5) Reduce weed germination. 6) And, reduce soil erosion.

There are several different organic and inorganic mulches. We recommend organic mulches for the majority of applications. Examples of inorganic mulches are pebbles and ground up tires. The most common organic mulch is pine straw. Pine straw is very effective and economical. Other organic mulches include pine bark, various wood chips, and colorized wood chips.

Wood chips and bark will decompose slower than pine straw, although they will become sun bleached. Colorized wood chips’ primary advantage is they resist sun bleaching much longer, although they look less than natural.


Things to Look for in April

B ermuda and zoysia lawns will green up, and fescue will be putting on heavy growth. Azaleas will bloom soon, but should not be trimmed until the blooms have faded.

Our focus this month will be installing summer annual flowers, we will begin removing winter flowers mid-April, and then replacing them with begonias, impatiens and other summer annuals.

This remains a good time to replenish and freshen mulches (chips or pine straw).          

Hopefully, the weather will cooperate. March rainfall is now above average. The last week in March, alone, saw 5 inches.


Next Month: May

A s you may or may not know, we are now under permanent, year-round watering restrictions. The schedule is based on your street address. Odd addresses water Tues, Thur, and Sun; Even addresses water Mon, Wed, and Sat. There may be possible additional local restrictions. Check it out at