Using mulch is one of the best things you can do to help conserve water in the landscape while also improving your soil. Organic mulch (anything that was once a plant) improves your soil as it decomposes. As the mulch decays it releases nutrients for the plants to use. It also brings the pH of the soil closer to neutral while also improving the structure of the soil. Mulch helps to prevent water loss from your soil by providing protection from the sun’s heat. By keeping the soil cooler, water does not evaporate as quickly as it would if the soil were allowed to receive direct sunlight. Mulch helps to protect the root zone of plants by insulating the soil from both hot and cold weather – it protects the plant roots from the heat of the sun and it also protects them from cold temperatures. Mulch makes it easier for water to seep into the soil and also lessens the amount of soil that gets washed or blown away during storms. Another great benefit of mulch is that is smothers out weeds. Mulching landscape areas helps plants to grow faster because they do not have to compete with grass or weeds for the water and nutrients they need. It also gives a finished appearance to the landscape.
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