For many green-thumbed homeowners, mulch is one of the easiest and fastest ways to protect the soil, nourish the plants they grow, and enrich the beauty of their overall landscape. Many gardeners use mulch in the warm seasons for various purposes. But can we mulch our lawns and landscapes in winter? The short answer is yes. Our experts in lawn treatments in West Chester, OH, say that winter mulch’s main goal is to protect roots from the assaults of heavy freezes and extreme temperatures, among others. So, let’s see a few things about winter mulches!
Types of Winter Mulches to Consider
The best winter mulches are the coarse-textured organic materials that provide soil and plant insulation and protection while allowing enough air and water to penetrate deep into the soil. The best winter mulches are those that insulate the soil without compacting under the heavy blanket of snow and ice.
According to our lawn fertilization and weed control company in West Chester, OH, some of the best winter mulches include the following materials:
- Pine needles: they make one of the best winter covers for your ornamental beds and shrubs;
- Shredded leaves are excellent to protect perennials and bulbs without suffocating them;
- Straw is lightweight and might need replenishing as the wind scatters it away easily, but it makes a good addition to your vegetable garden as a winter insulator.
- Bark chips, readily available and inexpensive, make a great winter mulch choice if you want to protect your trees and shrubs and also want to add a bit of beauty to your winter landscape.
Like the summer ones, winter mulches make gourmet food for microbes, worms, and the other beneficial insects living inside the soil. Almost all woody winter mulches (pine needles, nut hulls, and bark chips) provide nourishment to carbon-eating microorganisms responsible for the soil structure’s improvement and the delivery of nutrients to all plants.
When Should You Add Winter Mulch?
Our lawn treatments experts in West Chester, OH, recommend adding winter mulches after the first hard or killing frost, when the temps usually fall below 28 F. Leave the mulch in place until the hard frost dangers pass (March or April, for instance). As you know, different organic materials decompose at their own rates, so you can leave some winter mulches (straw, shredded leaves, etc.) in peace until bulbs and emerging perennials push through them in spring.
If you need help with winter mulching, our lawn treatments company in West Chester, OH, will assist you with the application and removal for excellent soil results.