Sustainable lawn care and landscaping cannot be achieved in the lack of organic mulches and mixes to promote your soil’s nourishment, roots’ cool temperature and weeds / pests barriers. Some organic mulches decompose faster, being perfect fertilizers, while others decompose slower, being recommended for their aesthetic role and strength against weeds, pests or diseases. Today, our lawn care Carrollton, VA specialists want to offer you a crash course in six types of organic mulches you can use this season for fertilization and protection purposes.

1. Grass Clippings

Collect grass clippings after you mowed the lawn, let them dry a little and mix them with dry leaves, straw or shredded bark to make highly nutritious mulch for your flower beds and trees. Remember to apply a one inch top layer of such mulch, as the clippings can mat together obstructing natural air flow. Mixing them with other vegetal debris circumvents compaction.

2. Shredded Leaves

Fallen leaves should be carefully collected and let to dry well. After you shredded them with your mower you can apply them in a 1-2 inch thick layer in tree plantings and flower beds. Such mulch is highly nutritious and protective, but leaves scatter, so you may want to sprinkle some fresh soil over them to keep them in place.

3. Shredded Bark

Our lawn care Carrollton, VA experts recommend shredded bark mulch for its aesthetic and protective purposes. Bark doesn’t decompose fast, making it less suitable as a fertilizer. However, it makes an excellent barrier against weeds and pests. Mix shredded bark with grass clippings or shredded leaves for fertilization purposes. For more protection against weeds, pests, and diseases, mix bark with an inorganic mulch (landscape fabric) and with lime to balance the acidity of the bark.

4. Seaweed

Fresh seaweed makes an excellent organic fertilizer, soil insulator and pest repellent (especially against snails). It can decompose too fast sometimes, leaving behind dry soil patches which can become a safe heaven for weed sprouting. You can enhance fresh seaweed with grass clippings or straws to avoid compaction. Seaweed is used in flower beds and tree plantings, but if such vegetation is sensitive to salt, make sure you rinse seaweed before applying it as mulch.

5. Buckwheat Hulls

This is excellent organic mulch from both an aesthetic and a fertilization point of view. It keeps the soil’s moisture at balanced levels, keeps roots cool and safe from weeds or pests. It looks great too, so our lawn care Carrollton, VA experts recommend you use this mulch in the visible areas of your lawn and landscape. Use in flower beds and tree plantings exposed to the sun as it reflects heat well. It is also a good weed repellent, clean, neat and featuring a gorgeous texture. Mi it with coarser mulches to prevent scattering and apply a layer of no more than 2 inches thick.

6. Straws

Straws may contain weed seeds, so you should choose a clean variety. Straws make good mulch for trees, as it reflects heat well due to its light color – it is recommended for plantings in the sunniest areas of your property. It can scatter easily, so you might want to mix it with coarser mulches. It gives the landscape a retro-country look.

Mulches come in plenty of varieties and mixes, so if you want to learn more about them, ask your lawn care Carrollton VA specialists to give you a hand with choosing the best types and learning how to correctly apply them.