Without a doubt, mulching is the best possible way to protect some of the plants around your home during the cold weather months of winter time. If you live in an area that has a high percentage of snowfall, then you are in luck. The reason for this is that snow is perhaps one of the best possible "natural" mulches available. However if you live in an area that doesn't see a whole lot of snow, or you want to be extra careful about some of your plants and trees, then you will need to do a little bit of cold weather mulching.
Cold weather mulching isn't particularly difficult to understand, though it can be a bit tedious to implement. To make the whole process as easy as possible, simply follow these guidelines. By following them carefully, you will not only have the correct mulch for your tree, garden, or shrub, you will also have it applied in time and properly. It really couldn't be easier.
- What to use. There are a wide variety of materials that you can use for cold weather mulching. Typically any type of loose insulating material will work just fine for mulching. When choosing the mulch that you are going to use keep in mind that you will need to remove it come spring time. This means that you will want to apply something that can be handled easily, and removed without too much problem. Some examples of this would be materials like shredded mulch or leaves, pine needles, straw, or bark.
- When to apply. Applying mulch to your plants can often seem like it is more of an art than a science. The reason for this is that there are so many different plants that need a different amount of mulch, or it needs to be applied at different times, and so on. However, just because it seems this way, it doesn't meant that there isn't at least a guideline that you can use to judge when you should begin applying the mulch. Ideally you should begin applying mulch to your plants when the overnight temperature begins to approach 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Garden mulching. When laying mulch down in your garden, you want to be sure that you are using a decently thick layer of organic material. As it was stated above, you should use materials that are easy to handle and that are loose. For a garden the ideal type of material would be hay, straw, or pine needles. To get a "fairly thick" layer of mulch for your garden, continue laying the material down until you have achieved a depth of between two and three inches.
- Tree and shrub mulching. For a tree or shrub you can often use a material that is a bit more robust that pine needles or straw for your mulch. However, just because you can doesn't necessarily mean that you should. Pine needles are often the best type of cold weather mulching material available. After all, that is what is used by nature out in the wild. When you lay down your mulching material (whatever kind you decide to use) create a layer that is about three to four inches thick for optimal effect.
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