Guest Author - Charity Armstrong
Summer and gardening season are now in full swing. If you donít already take mulching seriously, now is the time to do some research. Finding the right mulch doesnít have to be expensive or difficult. It can also make a huge difference in the appearance of your rose garden, while helping to retain moisture and improve the soil.
First consider whether or not you have any free mulch materials available. Leaves are very easy to use. The trees on my property produce about thirty bags of leaves a year! Rather than raking the leaves into plastic bags to be hauled away by the trash company or put into barrels for burning, you can use your leaves for nutrient rich mulch.
Smaller leaves can often be put down as is. Larger leaves and even smaller ones can benefit from being chopped up a bit. Many weed trimmers offer an additional attachment for purchase that can be used for chopping leaves. You simply place your leaves into a large, plastic, barrel sized trash can, follow some eye and face mask precautions, and youíll have a huge barrel of mulch in no time! You can also purchase a leaf grinder that fits over the top of your large plastic trash can. This churns the leaves up as you feed them into the trash can. These are usually found through mail order catalogs.
If you donít have mulch available right in your yard, check for availability in your community. Often local businesses or your county itself will offer options for free mulch. Usually youíll have to pick it up yourself with a truck or trailer, but since itís free it just might be worth it. If you have any businesses similar to these in your local area give them a call: county tree clean up, pecan factory, ball bat factory, wood mills, etc.
Last but not least is to simply purchase mulch from a gardening supply store or nursery. All different types of mulch are offered both for purchase in bags and delivery by the truck load. Calling your local extension office can give you some tips to select the right mulch for your area. You always want to make sure you choose a type of mulch that is environmentally sustainable and will be beneficial for your garden soil as it breaks down.
Mulching is an important basic part of all gardening whether for roses and flowers or for vegetables. Doing some extra research into what type of mulch is available can not only save you some money, but also help you make the best choice for your garden and the environment. The look of a well groomed and healthy rose bed is always the best reward.