Choosing the right type of mulch can make your garden healthier and your flowers more beautiful, but with so many different types on the market it can be hard to see the difference. Here’s an overview of what the best wood chip mulches can do for your landscaping:
Shredded hardwood is a long-lasting mulch that suppresses weed growth and retains moisture for one to three years. It’s decorative, natural, and decomposes over time to add healthy nutrients to your flower beds. Shredded hardwood also protects plants in flood-prone areas and prevents erosion in sloping gardens.
Cedar mulch is a less popular option than shredded hardwood, but this low maintenance mulch resists decay and lasts longer than hardwood. Cedar also acts as a natural pest repellant to keep your flower beds healthy. However, cedar drains the soil of nitrogen as it decomposes, so fertilizing flowers may be necessary.
Fresh Wood Chips
If you do a lot of landscaping, you can create your own mulch from fresh wood chips. These chips will need to be replaced more frequently than shredded hardwood. Like cedar, they can also monopolize nitrogen in the soil, so you may need to use fertilizer for your flowers. However, using a wood chipper is a great way to recycle tree branches, and can provide you with plenty of free mulch.