The gardening culture is becoming popular among the old and the young alike. Nowadays, cultivating your garden and growing multiple varieties of fruits and vegetables is becoming prominent. However, maintaining a lush garden and enhancing its appeal entails proper maintenance. The primary minimum care is insufficient if you want a garden full of healthy plants. This is where mulching and fertilizing step in! In this blog, we will elaborate on the practices of mulching and fertilizing, analyze their main differences and list down their top 6 benefits for your garden. Let us also look at why soil health is vital for your garden!
❇️ IMPORTANCE OF SOIL HEALTH
Healthy soil acts as the base for all your vegetation. Think of it as a foundation upon which your hard work will stand. If the foundation is weak, the rest of your work cannot stand the test of time: your plants and trees will soon rot away or die. Healthy soil widely supports the biodiversity of the area. Firstly, it is a habitat for many microorganisms, essential bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals. The necessary microorganisms may die if the soil turns bad or gets saline. Secondly, rich soil supplies nutrients for rapid plant growth. The soil ought to have the proper nutrients, minerals, water, and oxygen so that plant roots can take them up. Healthy soil also massively increases crop yield and productivity. This beneficial aspect comes in handy, especially in commercial farming. Since commercial purposes require more crop production, taking care of soil conditions such as temperature and pH becomes vital.
❇️ WHAT IS MULCHING?
Mulching refers to putting a layer of substance on the soil around the plants and vegetation. This extra layer on the soil surface offers a multitude of benefits. Mulching retains moisture in the soil and keeps it moist for extended periods. It improves overall plant health and the aesthetic appeal of your garden. The many advantages mulching presents also help to reduce conservation and maintenance costs.
The main two types include inorganic and organic mulch. Organic mulch is formulated from hay, wood shavings, straw, leaves, and bark chips. On the other hand, inorganic mulch is made using sand, rocks, gravel, and plastic sheets.
Organic and inorganic mulching both offer their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. It depends on your desired outcomes and capabilities, which one you opt for. For instance, organic mulch also adds nutrients to the soil and regulates temperature well. However, it decomposes quickly, so you must replenish it often. Inorganic mulch works the same as organic one, with some exceptions. It also does not add any nutrients to the soil. It does not require any additional maintenance and offers long-lasting results. All in all, it depends on what type of mulching will fulfill your needs.
❇️ WHAT IS FERTILIZING?
Plant health is essential to grow successfully and fight off pest attacks, other related diseases, and drastic weather changes. Therefore, fertilizers are added to soil to provide necessary nutrients for plant growth. They provide essential nutrients such as calcium, nitrogen, potassium, sulfur, zinc, iron, etc. There are mainly two types of fertilizers: organic and inorganic. Inorganic fertilizers are synthesized using chemicals like potassium chloride, ammonia, and sulfates. On the other hand, as the name suggests, organic fertilizers are made of organic material, such as compost, alfalfa, or animal manure. With growing awareness of unsustainable practices, people prefer to minimize the usage of inorganic fertilizers. The harmful chemical composition of inorganic fertilizers may negatively affect the environment if not used properly. The chemicals can get absorbed in groundwater, run into streams, and pollute nearby water bodies.
Moreover, they also contribute a lot to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Excessive use of inorganic fertilizers can mess up the soil’s pH and make it more acidic. This may result in a decrease in crop yield. Using organic fertilizers and other sustainable agricultural practices can also help to reduce the dependence on inorganic fertilizers and mitigate their negative impact on the environment. Hence, it is vital to be mindful of the harmful effects in the long run.
❇️ DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO
All in all, mulching and fertilizing improve soil fertility and enhance productiveness. In addition, they improve plant and soil health. However, both differ significantly regarding their formulation, purposes, and application. For instance, mulch is usually made of organic materials, whereas chemical fertilizers can be formulated.
Mulching plays a vital role in moisture retention, but fertilizers add those extra and much-needed nutrients for plant growth. Mulching is not usually used to add nutrients; instead, it focuses on other practices like reducing soil erosion and regulating temperature to achieve optimal results. Another difference can be observed here when it comes to application. You apply mulch on the topmost layer of soil so that it can act as a protective layer. Fertilizers are mixed directly into the soil, breaking down the required nutrients. You also have to be careful during the application of fertilizer. Applying the right amount at the right time is crucial, or it may have adverse effects. Overall, mulching and fertilizing add tremendous value to soil health. Only their benefits and application differ at fundamental levels. Let us look at the top 6 benefits that mulching and fertilizing offer.
❇️ TOP 6 BENEFITS OF MULCHING AND FERTILIZING
Here are the top six benefits of mulching and fertilizing.
⭕ Essential for Soil Health
As mentioned above, mulch and fertilizers enhance soil health greatly. They supply all the essential nutrients and elements to the soil. Fertilizing and mulching complement each other well. For instance, the former provides much-needed nutrients, and the latter retains most of them in soil. Furthermore, a layer of mulch performs the job of weed eradication. These weed seeds do not germinate and grow because of mulch. As a result, your garden is saved from unnecessary crowding of vegetation. Moreover, mulching controls soil temperature moderately. It regulates temperature nicely. Consequently, your soil remains comparatively cooler in summers and hotter in winters.
⭕ Enhances Aesthetic Appeal
If you strengthen the very foundation of your garden, that is, the soil, it will appear green and lush. Mulching and fertilizing increase the overall health of your garden and, simultaneously, its aesthetics. Your garden requires organic nutrients to flourish and thrive. Choosing the extra benefits of mulching and fertilizing is critical if you want an outdoor place full of bright hues and vivid aesthetics. Mulching does not only have to fulfill the functionality aspects. It also contributes wholly to beautifying your garden further. Mulch gives a neat look to your plants. For example, gravel mulch around plants completes the look of the plant.
⭕ Water Retention
These practices contribute towards water retention in soil. Since mulch is an extra layer added to soil, it is a physical barrier. This barrier reduces water evaporation and plant transpiration so more water stays in the soil. Similarly, mulch refines soil structure and texture, absorbing water quickly. In this way, the water retention rate also increases. Fertilizers improve the overall health of plants which in turn strengthens the roots. This allows plants to absorb water more efficiently. Fertilizers also have nutrients like potassium, improving water intake from the soil and retaining more water.
⭕ Positive Environmental Impacts
Mulching and fertilizing offer several positive environmental impacts. They contribute towards healthy biodiversity, lessen water runoff, prevent soil erosion, and increase your garden’s productivity. Organic mulch and fertilizers come under the category of sustainable practices. These practices do not harm the environment or the animals within. You do not need to use harmful chemicals to promote plant growth when mulching and fertilizing complete the job effectively. Moreover, they mitigate your dependence on pesticides by indirectly and directly leading to effective pest resistance. For example, the mulch layer often repels pests and prevents diseases. Similarly, fertilizers make plants more robust and less prone to pest attacks.
One of the most significant impacts of these practices is water conservation. Water has become a vulnerable source that is being depleted fast. Mulching retains the extra moisture in the soil, which reduces water loss. Furthermore, they also indirectly contribute to carbon sequestration. Carbon sequestration is the process of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. By promoting the growth of plants and microorganisms, mulching and fertilizing can help sequester carbon in the soil.
⭕ Prevents Soil Erosion
Soil erosion occurs when natural or artificial factors erode the topmost layer of soil. This top layer is usually fertile and full of nutrients. In addition, the physical barrier that mulch provides protects the soil underneath from strong winds, storms, deforestation, and heavy rainfall. These natural and artificial factors, such as unsustainable farming practices, lead to soil erosion. By improving soil appearance and structure and retaining more water, mulching helps to keep the soil moist. This moisture reduces soil erosion also. In addition, fertilizers strengthen plant and tree roots. Stronger roots hold the soil in place so it does not run off in the water during heavy rain or get blown away during storms. Protecting the top layers means protecting the fertility and all the nutrients, which results in better growth of plants in your garden.
⭕ Improves Soil Fertility
Organic mulch and fertilizers add organic matter and nutrients. They also enhance soil aeration and water capacity. These practices create optimal conditions for the growth and nourishment of good microorganisms. Nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, calcium, and manganese enhance soil fertility profoundly. Over time, these nutrients may get eradicated from the soil resulting in nutrient deficiencies. This absence of nutrients causes plants to wilt often and die. Hence, the use of fertilizers gradually becomes essential.
❇️ HERE’S WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE MPR LANDSCAPES FOR THESE SERVICES!
The question that arises at the end is why to perform the services alone when you can hire professionals to do the job. So, if you are looking for experts to offer mulch and fertilizing services, look no further, for you have come to the right place!
Our qualified and professional staff at MPR Landscapes offers top-tier mulching and fertilizing services. In addition, we have the latest equipment and technology to complete the relevant assignments. We understand that every landscape and its soil are different in some way or another. That is why we analyze your soil condition first and consider factors like its structure, temperature, and weather conditions of the area. After deducing the characteristics, our adept landscapers choose the right mulch and fertilizers according to your needs and demands. We have the expertise and experience to provide high-quality fertilizers and mulches full of nutrients. They are tailored to the specific needs of your plants and soil.
Our principles and work ethics have always inclined more toward sustainable practices. We keep in mind the growing hazards of rapid climate change. Hence, we choose and formulate organic products that are not detrimental to the natural environment. We avoid using any harmful chemicals or extracts. Moreover, MPR Landscapes have always prioritized excellent customer service. Regardless of the scale of your area, whether it is a garden, small backyard, or commercial park, we pride ourselves on exceptional performances and achieving customer satisfaction. With our services, your landscape will eventually metamorphose into a healthier and more sustainable one. Contact us today for further inquiries about our fertilizing and mulching services.
To conclude the earlier arguments, mulching and fertilizing are incredibly beneficial for soil and plant health. They make your plants not only greener but also more resilient. The multiple advantages of mulching and fertilizing include the following:
- Effective soil erosion.
- Pest repellence.
- Water retention.
- Improved soil health.
- Numerous positive effects on the environment.
They also endorse a healthy ecosystem and biodiversity by creating natural habitats for various plants and microorganisms. Mulching and fertilizing are relatively easy; however, taking an expert’s advice can never go wrong. You can get in touch with our skillful team at MPR Landscapes for mulching and fertilizing-related services and much more. So what are you waiting for? Contact us today to avail yourself of our services immediately!