Applying fresh mulch is practically a rite of spring for commercial properties in Dallas, and there are good reasons why. Mulch acts as a protective barrier — it locks in moisture to nourish plants, and keeps out weeds to help with ongoing maintenance efforts. But once mulch is past its prime it loses its luster and function.
Mulch has a “shelf life” of about 10 months, depending on the type. It simply wears out from sun, rain, landscape cleanups and decomposition. Now is the time to plan for this year’s mulch application — skipping this crucial landscape maintenance task will sacrifice the curb appeal and health of plants on your property.
When to Mulch?
Apply mulch two times per year, in the Spring when temperatures begin to rise and again in the Fall when temperatures begin to drop. Spring is traditionally when commercial property owners want to lay down a fresh layer of mulch, while the first flowers are blooming and tree buds are popping. Indeed, spring is the ideal time to plan your mulch application, but you might choose to wait on laying down a fresh cover based on when plants will be pruned.
What to Mulch?
- Hardwood Mulch
Hardwood mulch comes in a wide array of varieties and colors – from hardwood to pine to cedar to cypress, and from warm red tones to rich browns to the deepest black. It also comes in many sizes, from shredded to large nuggets. Hardwood mulch decomposes more slowly so it may not require two applications each year. However, hardwood mulch color can fade, so it requires regular refreshing to keep up with your aesthetic goals. Hardwood mulch is heavier so it’s not as easy to move, but it’s usually a little better for the soil as it decomposes.
- Pine Straw Mulch
Pine straw mulch comes from pine tree needles, which are raked and baled for use as mulch, so the product is renewable and is naturally sourced. It’s a nice, neutral shade and provides a great base to help show off each landscape bed’s bright plant hues. Pine straw mulch is also very thin in texture, staying loose and linking together. This texture lets weed seeds fall through where they won’t take root. This is in contrast to thicker hardwood mulches that can have a tendency to create places for weed seeds to germinate. Because it’s thin, pine straw mulch breaks down more quickly. This means it usually requires two, or possibly three, applications each year—in spring and in fall.
Why to Mulch?
Mulching is much more than just an aesthetic uplift to your property’s façade. It’s a first-line defense against soil erosion and compaction. It inhibits weed growth, protects your plants from extreme temperatures, and helps retain soil moisture levels. Mulching should be considered an investment with guaranteed yields. Of all the commercial landscape improvements and other grounds care needs you have for your commercial property, mulching should be at the top of your list when it comes to your yearly plan.
If you have any landscaping needs; commercial or residential, or in regards to the topic of this blog, don’t hesitate to give our team at Carruthers Landscaping a call at (972) 620-9560.