Using mulch in your landscape is one of the best ways to maintain soil moisture, which is very important to our Arizona desert landscape. It can also reduce the need to weed. Mulching can also insulate roots from cold and heat to keep plants healthy. Mulch is any material that can protect the surface of the soil, while allowing air and water to reach the plants.
Types of Mulch
There are several different types of mulch available. Organic mulch is derived from plant material and can add nutrients and enrich the soil. Compost, manure, pine needles, and lawn clippings are also great mulch components for various situations. You do need to make sure that these materials are pesticide and herbicide free. Inorganic mulch includes materials such as stone, granite, or gravel. Some favorite mulch materials include:
- Cut bark
- Shredded bark
- Decomposed Granite
- Tumbled Glass
How Much Mulch Do Native Arizona Plants Need?
You should determine the square footage of the area you wish to mulch. The general rule of thumb is that a two cubic foot bag will cover an 8 square foot area with a depth of three inches.
Mulch should be applied to the appropriate thickness, while taking care to keep it a few inches away from the stems and crowns of plants, as well as tree trunks. If the mulch is too close to these plants, it can retain too much moisture, which can cause rot. When using mulch in plant containers, use the same depth and application process as you would on the ground areas.
Mulch should be applied at least once a year, usually before weeds start to appear — usually in the spring. Another lighter layer can be applied as a top dressing in late autumn. Mulch does not need to be removed. If you want to plant in a mulched area, all you need to do is push it aside. Keeping mulch is fairly easy. Top litter such as leaves and other such debris can be removed with a small hand rake. Blowers can be used on heavier mulch, such as gravel, that won’t blow away.
Growing Arizona Bushes & More
At New Image Landscape and Pools, our talented staff can help you choose the best mulch for your native Arizona plants. We can also offer advice on how to plant shrubs, flowers, trees and more. We are experts in our wonderful Arizona climate, and we can help you get the very best landscape possible.