What are the Benefits of Using Mulch? - Ask BrightView
Ask BrightView: Episode 24
Mulch is much more than material applied to the surface of soil. BrightView’s Enhancement Manager, Scott Chambers, discusses the difference between mulch and compost, tips for application, and how mulch was used while renovating Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Pa.
(For the full transcript, see below.)
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What are the benefits of using mulch?
The difference between compost and mulch is that compost is added to the soil profile to mix in for moisture holding capacity and roots. Mulch is added to the top of the soil profile to retain moisture, stop weeds, and finish the product.
You would compost prior to any planting or seeding and you incorporate the compost into the soil profile. Mulching is a finished product that you put on top of the soil when you're completed.
When applying mulch, it should be spread evenly throughout the bed and it should be no more than 2- to 3-inches thick. Depending on the amount of mulch underneath, the bed should be smooth of any soil or clumping so that you have a fine uniform surface when you're completed. Prior to mulching, there should be some kind of pre-emergent under the mulch to eliminate weeds.
The most common mistakes people make when mulching is to build up mulch to the the crowns of the trees. This incorporates a variety of issues with the plant material and varmint. You should always see the crown of the tree when you're done mulching.