Mulch is a layer of a material on the surface of soil and mulch in San Diego is used to hold and conserve moisture, reduce the growth of weeds, improve the soils health and fertility and to add to the visual appeal of a landscaped area.
Mulch is normally an organic material such as bark and is usually placed on bare soil or around existing plants in beds. Mulch will break down and incorporate itself into the soil greatly improving the soils productivity, the deterioration of the mulch is due to the activity of earth worms and other small organisms found in the soil and the mulch itself.
Gardeners use mulch in San Diego to control weed growth as well. The mulch is laid over a sheet of plastic which has been punctured with holes. The mulch gives the aesthetic appeal while the black plastic inhibits the development of unwanted growth.
Mulch and compost share many of the same attributes and sources. The materials used in commercially available mulch in San Diego depend on the local availability, cost, appearance and the effect that the material has on the soil. Most mulch uses organic residue such as grass clippings, leaves, hay, straw, shredded bark, bark nuggets, sawdust, woodchips, cardboard, wool, animal manure etc. To be effective, mulch must be clean of weed seed otherwise the purpose of the mulch is defeated.
Mulch in San Diego can also be rubber that has been made by shredding and recycling old automobile tires and plastic. Plastic mulch is often used in large scale vegetable gardening. Holes are punched into the thin plastic sheet, usually black in color, the cash crop plants grow up through the slits or holes and the covering eliminates weeds and other unwanted growth. Plastic mulch in San Diego is a real environmental problem because of the difficulty in disposing of the thousands of acres of used plastic at the end of the harvest.
In colder climates rock and stone are often used as mulch because the rock holds the heat and helps to extend the growing season.
There are certain materials used as mulch in San Diego that actually may have a negative effect on certain plants. Straw, peat and sawdust for example contain a much higher ratio of carbon than nitrogen. Nitrogen is an important element in plant growth. These organic materials also have a tenancy to mat which forms a barrier that can block water and air flow to the underlying soil.
Woodchips are the material of choice for most gardeners and landscape artists. They are a byproduct of tree trimming so parks, utility companies and arborists often make this material available for little cost to consumers as it aids them in disposing of bulky but otherwise useful material.
Mulch is a typical product found at a garden supply. This, along with bricks, pavers, rocks, pebbles and other exterior and interior decorative materials used for landscaping is available from Alpine Rock & Block in San Diego.