Mulch has many benefits in the gardens as helping plants out and adding the attractiveness your garden may lack. Spring is the time when you may apply a new layer of mulch or turn over the old stuff to bring back the color. Mulch does have its minor maintenance details that some do over look sometimes.

            Mulch can help the soil to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This helps when you have bulbs planted in the ground. Moisture can be conserved in the ground during times of drought benefiting plants by keeping it moist. Mulch also helps aid in weed control around the garden. But don`t forget that weeds pretty much can`t be stopped. Maintenance is the key. Depending on the quantity of mulch that you may need it comes in bagged product and in bulk form too. Try to stay away from the discount bags of mulch sold by the big box stored as this is just ground up freight pallets. Some pallets may contain chemicals in the wood that can change the soil. To figure out how much mulch you may need just remember to get the length and width of each bed and multiply them together. Then add everything up to get your square footage. A good thick layer of 2-3 inches is usually ideal for any situation. Too much mulch can actually affect how much air and moisture get to the soil.    

            Maintenance does come along with mulch as does everything else. A good raking every couple of months can help to keep the mulch loose and maintain its color. Mulch actually will pack down and settle over time. This is a good invitation for the artillery fungus mushroom that can shoot black spores after a while and are very hard to clean from surfaces. A good tool to use in the garden for turning mulch is the garden weasel with its removal able tines. Organic wood mulch usually keeps its color for 12 months then will need to be replenished. Color mulch usually last anywhere from 12-18 months. It`s a good idea to till up the soil a little before laying new mulch as this will aerate the ground.