Some of the many questions that novice gardeners ask are what is mulch, what benefit does mulching have and what kind of materials or products should I use as a garden mulch? The last question is a lot simpler to answer because one of the most popular and commonly used garden mulches is bark chippings.
Bark chippings are used by both gardeners requiring a mulching material as well as by landscapers wishing to add decorative uniformity to large areas of beds, borders and other soil filled areas. It is obvious that bark chippings can perform a multitude of jobs, but it is as mulch that bark chippings really come into its own.
Multi-Talented Bark Chippings
Bark chippings are capable of performing all of the functions that garden mulch requires, one of which is perhaps the most important when it comes to saving the gardener a great deal of time – bark chippings inhibit weed growth. A layer of bark chippings across the soil around plants and shrubs will stop sunlight reaching the seeds and small shoots that form when weeds are beginning to develop as the weather turns warmer during spring. For gardeners with backache, bark chippings really are a superb investment.
Secondly, bark chippings further help the gardener by saving more time when it comes to watering beds and borders during hot weather. This is because bark chippings have the useful ability to hold and retain moisture, releasing it slowly into the soil as it’s required, without causing water-logging which is as equally as damaging to plants as a drought. Bark chippings also help insulate the soil during very cold weather, helping to protect the roots of plants from damaging frosts and ice.
Finally, gardeners using bark chippings as a garden mulch will not only get some decorative benefit from the bark itself, but the soil will also benefit from the additional organic matter, encouraging living organisms to inhabit the soil such as worms which in turn give benefits to soil quality.