Green waste mulch is of great importance to the health and appearance of landscapes, plants and trees growth, conserving water, and in controlling weed germination. It comprises of shredded grass, brush, leaves, tree pruning, particles of plant debris, and wood chips laid over the soil surface surrounding plants or trees for natural landscape appearance. Green waste mulching is one of the simplest acts that provide several advantages to your garden trees if done properly. However, wrong mulching practices or material may have a severe impact on soil and to your landscape trees.
Benefits of Green Waste Mulching
- It significantly reduces the maintenance and labor cost by limiting weeds germination.
- Helps protect the soil from erosion and moisture loss.
- Helps in reducing the cost of irrigation, and herbicides.
- Keep the soil wet and guard the roots against severe temperatures.
- Prevent the soil from the compaction of heavy rains.
- Prevent water loss in summer by almost 20 percent and lowers temperature by 10 degrees.
- Green waste mulching keeps the soil life that benefits and feeds the plants.
- Provide a unique and finished look to planting beds.
- Restrain the growth of certain plant or tree diseases.
- Mulching conserved the landfill space and improved the soil for natural and healthier landscapes.
Trees soil blanketed by green waste has essential nutrients and minerals to their roots for recycling and growth. Urban landscapes rich with natural nutrients and green wastes are typically less harsh to environment or soil, and have improved organic matter with quality moisture soil. Before applying green waste mulch, remove unnecessary water and weed, place the green waste near roots surface, tree trunks, and around poles. Use the mulching with application rate of 2-4 inches and keep it 6-12 inches away from the tree base to avoid the risk of diseases or insects attack.
Commonly Used Green Waste Mulches
Organic mulches have additional benefits as compared with non-organic, and they come in various sizes, shapes, appearance and cost. Green waste is the least expensive locally produced mulch that can be readily available from parks, arborists or utility companies at reasonable prices. Here are few of the commonly used green waste mulch that can be successfully used for the benefits of your plants or trees.
- Chipped wood waste is a significant source of nutrition for the soil that is removed from the used lumber. The longevity of chipped wood waste quite longer and mostly used at construction sites or picnic areas.
- Wood chips are readily available mulch from any arborist or Tree Company that can be separated from any type of tree. The longevity of wood chips mulch is medium long and turns to be an attractive source of mulch for the soil and trees.
- Pine needles usually are weed-free that resist decomposing, and unable to absorb water. They have low pH level; longevity is medium long, and mostly used around acid-loving plants.
- Leaves are the natural source of mulching that carry organic matter and nutrients to the soil, but their longevity is short due to wind, storm or heavy rain.
- Compost is the wetted organic matter of leaves or food waste that went through the process of controlled decomposition. It is used to provide essential supplements to the garden soil and a source of natural fertilizer alternative for the environment. The longevity of compost is medium and not quite control weed germination.
- Grass clippings longevity is quite short but is another excellent source of mulching for the soil that provides nitrogen and essential nutrients.
- Mixed green waste mulch can be any combination of chipped wood waste, wood chips and pine needles or any other tree trimmings. This combination broke down and recycled back easily to provide mineral-rich nutrients to the soil for healthy growth of plants.
Applying Green Waste Mulches
No doubt, applying green waste mulch is a straightforward process but it required a little effort, and skills. First choose an appropriate type of mulch material that is most suitable for the soil to achieve your objectives. Then identify the area where you are going to apply mulch and prepare it by removing unnecessary weeds. Determine how much mulch is needed to fill that area by measuring it in cubic yards (CY). The formula to calculate the required volume of mulch is: Area (sq. ft.) x Depth (ft.) / 27 = CY required. Front end loaders are mostly used to move the mulch to desired area and then spread out by hands or raking. Other methods include the use of pneumatic blowers that works quite well for rough materials, and chippers work best in open areas to cover the large volume of green waste mulch.