Benefits of Mulching Your Garden

The benefits of mulching your garden are so numerous that most gardeners would agree that mulch becomes a necessity in every garden.

Gardens come in many different shapes and sizes. Flower gardens add aesthetic appeal, and range from simple to elaborate. Vegetable gardens are regaining popularity with increasing food prices, and poor food quality. One thing that is common in all gardens, whether flowering or vegetable, they can all benefit from mulching!

different types of mulch

Types of Mulch

Both Organic and Inorganic mulch can be used in your garden. Here are some examples:


  • Organic Mulches – This includes organic material like Wood Chips, Shredded Hardwood Mulch, and Dyed Mulch.
  • Inorganic Mulches – Rubber Mulch
Benefits of Using Mulch

Mulch helps to make your garden uniform and attractive.

Benefits of Using Mulch

Apart from the obvious benefit of making your gardens attractive, mulch has many other benefits.

Mulch can:

  • Help to reduce the growth of weeds
  • Help to maintain soil moisture
  • Moderate soil temperatures, keeping it warmer on cold nights and cooler on hot days
  • (During winter), help to protect plants from the cycle of freezing and thawing by keeping the soil warm
  • Reduce soil erosion and often reduce soil compaction
  • Keep soil from splashing onto leaves (which helps reduce the risk of disease)
  • (If organic mulch is used) break down and enriche the soil.
  • Improve the structure of clay soils and the moisture-holding capacity of sandy soils
spreading mulch
This is a great example of mulch applied improperly. Placing mulch too close to the trunk does not allow the tree to breathe.

Mulch has Disadvantages

When mulching your garden, you need to be careful. If applied improperly, mulch can actually be harmful.

You can harm your garden with mulch by:

  • Over-mulching (more than 3 inches) can bury and suffocate plants; water and oxygen can’t reach the roots. A layer of 2 to 3 inches of mulch is ample.
  • Piling mulch too close to a tree trunk. Mulch can cause the tree trunk to become diseased if piled up around it. Keep mulch 6 to 12 inches from the trunks of trees and shrubs.
  • Packing mulch too close to plant stems. Mulch near plant stems is the perfect place for slugs, snails, tunneling rodents, and more pests to hide.
pitchfork in mulch
Garden Centers usually carry many different types of mulch – it’s important that you choose the right one for your garden.

Choosing the Right Mulch

When choosing the mulch for your garden, consider these factors: cost, availability, ease of application, and what it looks like in the garden. The ideal mulch should be dense enough to block weed growth but light and open enough to allow water and air to reach the soil.

Benefits of Using Mulch

How Much Mulch Do I Need?

With most organic mulches, a layer of 2 to 3 inches is plenty. The finer the material, the thinner the layer needed.

Inorganic mulch is often more shallow; a mulch of small stones is usually an inch deep.

If You Want Mulch This Deep…..You Will Need This Mulch Mulch to Cover 100 Square Feet
2 inches18 cubic feet
3 inches27 cubic feet

1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet

Mulch Calculator

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Taylor Abrams Reply

    Hi, my mom’s been really into gardening lately and she’s planning a big landscaping project in our backyard. She’s looking for a bark mulch supplier because she wants to add a layer of mulch to her flower beds to help retain moisture and keep weeds at bay. I hope she knows how to take into account the following aspects when selecting mulch for your garden: price, availability, simplicity of application, and mulch appearance. As you said, dense enough to prevent weed development, yet loose and light enough to let air and water into the soil, is the perfect mulch.

  2. Taylor Abrams Reply

    It’s so cute that my mom has been into gardening lately. I think this is a good hobby and interest to adopt now that she’s retired and has lots of time on her hands. Anyway, she’s looking for a mulch delivery at the moment. I need her to know that over mulching (more than 3 inches) can bury and smother plants because the roots are cut off from water and oxygen. She will be happy to know how two to three inches of mulch is plenty. Thanks for this.

    • Rebecca Oberman Reply

      That is so great that your mom is into gardening! We are always happy to help with any tips needed (:

  3. Lily Bridgers Reply

    Thanks for the warning that you must exercise caution while mulching your garden since, if done incorrectly, mulch may potentially be damaging. You explained how over-mulching (more than 3 inches) may bury and smother plants, preventing water and oxygen from reaching the roots, and harming your garden. This may be the reason behind my aunt wanting to hire a professional for mulching her yard before her huge landscape renovation project.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *