Signs You Have a Low-Quality Mulch
For many, tending to a garden is a hobby that can bring a lot of joy. From trees to flower beds, there are several ways that you can cultivate successful growth. However, if you spread low-quality mulch in your garden, it may set your entire landscape up for failure. While mulching may seem like a basic gardening step, choosing the standard of your compost or soil covering can promote healthy greenery.
Adding the right mulch to your garden protects your plants from direct sunlight and holds in moisture. First-rate mulch is typically an organic type that offers ample vitamins and nutrients for your plants. If your soil covering is sourced from inorganic waste or materials, it may cause detrimental effects to your plants. Here are some signs that the mulch in your garden is of poor quality and possibly harmful to your landscape:
Mulch Is Diseased or Infected
In some cases, mulch may contain fungi, pests, or mold that are generally harmless. However, you may encounter issues with your mulch that are signs of poor quality. Decay organisms such as artillery fungus may appear and shoot spores that are difficult to remove. Their fruiting structures can expel specks of tar that leave black spots on foliage.
Another issue that you may find with certain poor-quality mulch is the presence of slime molds. While these colorful masses are not particularly harmful to plants, they can become a nuisance when used in gardens. Over time, the mold dries up into a white powdery mass on your plants.
Mulch Has a Pungent Smell
While mulching your garden brings a multitude of benefits, it may kill your plants if you are not careful. When wood chippings are improperly prepared or stored, toxic liquid and gasses can form. The best way to identify bad mulch is to smell it. Soil enrichment spreads should not smell like rotting eggs, vinegar, or silage. If your garden mulch has a pungent odor, do not use it.
Mulch Consists of Inorganic Materials
Mulch with inorganic materials, such as plastic or rubber, does not contribute to soil or plant health. In fact, artificial garden soil covering can be ecologically harmful to use in your landscape. These unnatural mulching materials are typically made with shredded car tires and other plastic pieces. As they are inorganic, they cannot decompose and may even increase the amount of heat in your soil.
Talk to Plant Healthcare Professionals
Adding top-quality mulch to your garden is the best way to cultivate healthy plant growth. Organic mulch enriches the quality of your greenery by promoting good bacteria for your landscape. It also provides nutrients for the beneficial organisms around your plants. Johnson Ops Tree Care in La Crosse, WI offers high-standard topsoil products made from locally sourced materials. We provide tree care, kiln-dried lumber, and multiple colors of mulch throughout the Coulee Region, La Crosse, and Black River Falls. Contact us today to request a free estimate!