The Importance of Mulching

According to the Daniel Island Community and Park Association’s Landscape Standards, well planned landscaping is recognized as an asset to the Daniel Island neighborhoods. Landscaping provides a more beautiful and healthful place to live, as well as being beneficial to home sales and property values. Mulch is very important in maintaining a healthy and beautiful landscape. Mulching can be an organic natural way to protect landscaping.

According to Specialists, there are many benefits of mulching;

  • Mulches prevent loss of water from the soil by evaporation.
  • Mulches reduce the growth of weeds, when the mulch material itself is weed-free and applied deeply enough to prevent weed seed germination or to smother existing weeds.
  • Mulches keep the soil cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, thus maintaining a more even soil temperature.
  • Mulches prevent soil splashing, which not only stops erosion, but keeps soil-borne diseases from splashing up onto the plants.
  • Organic mulches can improve the soil structure. As the mulch decays and moves down into the soil, the organic material improves the quality of the topsoil. Decaying mulch also adds nutrients to the soil.
  • Mulches prevent crusting of the soil surface, thus improving the absorption and movement of water into the soil.
  • Mulches protect the trunks of trees and shrubs from damage by lawn equipment.
  • Mulches help prevent soil compaction.
  • Mulches can add to the beauty of the landscape by providing a cover of uniform color and interesting texture to the surface.
  • Mulched plants have more roots than plants that are not mulched because mulched plants will produce additional roots in the mulch that surrounds them.

According to the Daniel Island Community and Park Association’s Landscape Standards, only natural colored mulch will be allowed. The required natural colors compliment Daniel Islands natural landscape palette and native species.

There are a few possible issues with mulch, however, these can be combatted by simple maintenance.  Mulching should be typically done one to two times per year to combat any issues that may arise due to Charleston’s naturally moist climate.

 

Although there may be concerns that a damp environment such as mulch may attract termites, termites do not primarily feed on mulch. According to professionals, termites that feed on mulch have a lower rate of survival compared to termites that feed on solid wood.

Here in the Charleston and Mount Pleasant areas, there are typically only 3 termite kinds found: Eastern Subterranean Termites, Drywood Termites, and Formosan Subterranean Termites.

Concerns about these three types of termites can be dissolved by choosing a termite resistant mulch. Organic, wood-based mulches do not provide termites with a source for heavy feeding.

Cypress heartwood, melaleuca, eucalyptus, southern tidewater red cypress and California redwood decrease a termite’s chance of survival. Cypress heartwood has been rated as termite-resistant, with one study showing that extracts from this wood actually repel termites. Similarly, if you lay cedar mulch, termites won’t be very happy.

Choosing a termite resistant, natural colored mulch, has numerous benefits for maintaining a healthy landscaping and Daniel Island’s beautiful aesthetic.

Article Sources:

https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/mulch/

https://www.terminix.com/blog/bug-facts/does-mulch-attract-termites

https://www.arrowtermites.com/termite-identification