When you see adverts for ornamental bark what are you really getting? It can be used to decorate outdoor areas in pubs, hotels and other types of business. A forest effect can be achieved, not just a pleasure to the eyes but the sense of smell too. Ornamental bark is also used as a mulch for borders, flower beds, footpaths and newly planted areas. But what are the benefits of using bark as a mulch?
What is a Mulch?
First we better explain exactly what we mean when we say use it as a mulch. A mulch is a certain material that is spread around a surface. It doesn’t have to be bark. It could be decaying leaves or compost instead. There are a number of reasons why it is beneficial to use bark mulch in your garden.
The Benefits of Using Bark Mulch
Your garden will be perfectly fine if you choose not to mulch. However, so many gardeners use it that it is worth exploring the advantages. You can then decide for yourself whether you want to use it.
Less Weeding – this is a significant advantage with using bark mulch. It greatly reduces the growth weeds and thereby saves you valuable weeding time. The depth of the mulch will make all the difference. One or two inches for decorative bark. Two to four inches for larger bark chips.
Less Watering – applying a layer of bark mulch will mean a big saving on watering. The layer effectively holds in more water and prevents evaporation. Believe it or not, sometimes by as much as 50%. New plantings will benefit from being watered in first, before the mulch is applied.
Better Protection – as you all know, the UK is not known for its great weather. It can be very unpredictable. Rain one minute, followed by hail and then sunshine. All in one day. Plants can be protected against such extremes by a layer of mulch. The best time to apply it is in late spring. This allows the soil to warm up first.
Soil Conditioner – bark is a natural product and over time it will break down and nourish the soil. It is an excellent choice for areas that will be undisturbed, such as around shrubs, trees and perennials.
Home for Micro-Organisms – worms and micro-organisms love bark mulch. Having these in your soil will help to loosen it and improve the uptake of water and air.
Aesthetically Pleasing – bark mulch can be a very attractive addition to your garden. Don’t pile it too high, however, or it will blow onto the lawn and pathway and not look quite so appealing.
Reduces Soil Compaction – walking on your soil does it no favours, but a layer of much can provide a helpful cushion.
If you’re interested in using decorative bark mulch in your garden, Greenvale can supply what you need. They are a family-run business that has been operating for almost three decades.