Mulch is an organic material that is spread across to the surface of grass and soil to give it extra nutrients and help it retain more water. Trees, plants, and shrubs help create mulch with dropped leaves, bark, and other organic material.
There are many types of conventional mulch available commercially. In Texas, some of the most common include:
- Pine Straw: This mulch consists of needles from pine trees and is best used for acid-loving plants. Pine straw mulch stays in place well, even on sloped areas.
- Bark Pieces: Many homeowners enjoy the look of these larger pieces in comparison to finer mulch. Bark mulch floats however, and may wash away in heavy rains.
- Shredded hardwood: Offering a visually appealing look to complement your yard, this mulch is resistant to the power of heavy rain, and is long-lasting.
- Shredded leaves: Several inches of coarsely shredded leaves provide good weed control while allowing for water penetration. This mulch should be turned under and replaced each year.
- Lawn Clippings:
The leftover clippings from your lawn make great mulch that helps retain water in the summer months and insulate the soil in colder months.
Benefits of Mulching
For lawns and gardens in Austin and San Antonio, proper mulching is beneficial in three main ways.
Protects From Evaporation
Mulching protects plant roots and acts as a barrier against intense heat and evaporation. In Austin, temperatures often soar above 100 degrees in the summer. The roots of grass and smaller plants can quickly dry up and turn brittle without proper mulching.
Saves in Watering Costs
Mulching slows evaporation, cutting watering costs and saving money. Each year, Texas households use an average of 22 inches of water for watering plants and lawns. A Texas Water Development Board study showed that in Austin households, 31 percent of their water usage is for outdoor purposes. Saving on the cost of watering plants by mulching and lawns can make a real impact on your wallet.
Mulch absorbs the impact of heavy rainfall and prevents soil erosion. Because sudden, heavy rainfall is common in Texas, mulching properly can often prevent costly washouts.
For healthy lawns, grass clippings can serve as an effective mulch. Lawn clippings are an ideal choice because they are completely free with our lawn service. As a lawn is trimmed, clippings settle into the grass. While the clippings decompose, they protect roots and add nutrients back into the soil.
Misunderstood Grass Clippings
Most lawn mowers today are sold with a bag — and some lawn companies take advantage of it. They feel that an attractive lawn is one without any clippings left behind, so they collect and dispose of this helpful, natural mulch. What they don’t know is that clippings shorter than one inch in length will quickly settle into the grass and begin to break down, which means they won’t detract from the beauty of the lawn. If the yard is trimmed regularly at the proper height, unsightly clumps will never be an issue.
While it is true that improper mowing can lead to thatch build up (a damaging buildup of decomposing grass between the soil and live grass), proper mulching with grass clippings does not contribute to this problem.
Just Right Lawns is a full-service lawn care company. We offer professional grass mulching and clipping distribution with all our lawn mowing appointments. Contact Just Right Lawns Today!