You may plan to mulch your garden beds to reduce upkeep and nourish the soil. Mulch will also help you create a more attractive landscape. Here are some considerations to bear in mind when planning your next mulch delivery.
A benefit of scattering mulch over your garden beds is that it helps to starve weeds. They need sunlight to thrive, and the mulch creates a barrier on top of the soil, blocking the light. Thus, the weeds won't grow as freely. This will give you back hours that you may otherwise have spent on weeding. You can instead focus on more enjoyable gardening tasks.
Even though mulch blocks weeds from growing, it also supports existing plants. A mulch layer will help to retain moisture in the soil. So if you water the garden after a hot day, the moisture won't evaporate as freely. The mulch will help hold it within the garden bed. Plus, mulch helps to regulate the soil temperature. In the winter, it will coat the soil and keep it warmer.
Organic mulches such as hay and leaves break down in the soil while nourishing it with nutrients. While this is positive, it means you'll need to top up the mulch once it decomposes. If you want a longer-lasting mulch, you could use wood bark or chips, which decompose at a slower rate. They will require fewer top-ups. One possibility is to spread leaves over the garden beds and then add a layer of wood chips. The leaves will nourish the soil as they break down, but the chips will endure for longer.
If you want to block the light from the soil to stop weed growth and maintain the soil temperature, but you're not as concerned with soil nourishment, you could opt for pebbles or crushed stones. They don't break down, even over long periods of time. So you won't have to replace the mulch as frequently as you do with organic options.
Pebbles and stones come in various colours, such as creams, greys, blues, reds, and yellows. As rock is a natural substance, its colours are muted and earthy and blend perfectly with a garden. You can harmonise the mulch with your house and the natural foliage. Stones offer a greater colour range than wood chips. Even though chips come in diverse tones of tan, red, yellow, and brown, they don't offer as much choice as stones and pebbles.