Many homeowners and property owners choose to use mulch in their landscaping because it offers many distinct benefits. Mulch is first and foremost very beneficial to your soil and your plants. When used properly, mulch can reduce the amount of water that is lost through evaporation, covering and shielding the soil from the drying rays of the sun. In the summer months, mulch can help to keep the soil cool. In the winter months, mulch behaves as an insulator, protecting plant roots from fluctuating temperatures. Because of these advantages, mulch is a very valuable tool for landscaping in just about any location or climate.
While there are many different types of mulch in Massachusetts that are used by property owners, all mulch is basically a material, which can either be organic or inorganic, that is used in landscaping or gardening on top of the soil. As the mulch breaks down over time, organic materials are added to the soil, which adds nutrients for the plants and improves the ability of the soil to retain moisture, aiding in better drainage, strength and structure. Beneficial soil organisms will also be more prevalent when mulch is used, while weed growth and some types of plant diseases will be suppressed.
Different Types of Mulch in Massachusetts
The debate between organic and inorganic mulch is often weighed by gardeners and property owners who are looking for the best mulch for landscaping in both residential and commercial situations. Beyond the organic vs. inorganic debate, there are many different types of mulch in Massachusetts in the organic variety that are used by property owners because of it’s natural appearance and beneficial properties.
- ORGANIC – The decomposing benefits of organic mulch is argued, as it provides nutrients and beneficial organic matter to the soil, however it must be replaced every year to four years. The determining factor for replacement would be how quickly the organic mulch decomposes, which is dependent on the location that it is used and the amount of punishment the mulch receives from the elements.
- INORGANIC – One of the biggest drawbacks of using inorganic mulch is that it is more difficult to install than the organic variety. So for homeowners who are mulching the garden themselves, organic might be the best choice. Inorganic mulches can include plastic, fabric, stone or geo-textile mats, which are used as a heavy-duty pest and weed control. Because it does not have a very decorative appearance, many property owners choose to cover the inorganic mulch with organic mulch anyway for aesthetic reasons.
How to Identify Quality Mulch
When it comes to deciding which of the Fall River landscaping mulch types is best for your particular situation, it can be helpful to learn a little bit about how to identify quality mulch from lower quality products. J&J Materials strives to provide our customers with the best mulch for landscaping, offering a wide variety of choices to meet the aesthetic needs and landscaping demands of our clients. When it comes to identifying the best mulch for landscaping your property, the choice will ultimately depend on where and how the mulch is being used. However, when it comes to choosing a superior quality mulch for all of your projects, you can depend on J&J Materials to deliver the very best.
The two most popular types of organic mulch include:
- SHREDDED BARK – This type of organic mulch helps to keep the soil cool and moist. It is available throughout the State of Massachusetts and is one of the more frequently used Fall River landscaping mulch types because it is great for weed control. Make sure that bark is dry and clean, as this organic material can hold in too much moisture and turn sour. Hardwood barks will need to be replaced more often than softwood barks.
- WOOD CHIPS – Another popular type of mulch used frequently in the northeastern states, this particular product is the best mulch for landscaping around large shrubs and trees, but it used most often on walking paths. While it does control weeds and is decorative like other types of mulch, wood chips are not the best choice for gardens as they can cause a temporary nitrogen deficiency if they have a high carbon make up and some companies use fillers, such as wood waste products, in with this type of bagged mulch.
The varieties of landscaping mulch available at J&J Materials include:
- Pinebark – Created from a mixture of white pine, spruce and fur trees, this dark brown mulch is shredded to a consistent size. The product is brought to J&J Materials in late fall and is allowed to “cook” and darken over the winter months. Any new shipments received in the summer months may not match the color of “cooked” mulch until they are allowed to darken.
- Aged-Pinebark – Over the course of a year, this aged-pinebark will turn a rich black color. This variety of mulch at J&J Materials is of a very fine consistency, making it very popular with our customers. The aging process works to enhance the natural color, making it a great choice for color-coordinated landscaping design.
- Aged-Hemlock – This popular mulch is a dark reddish brown in color and has a unique odor, which is great for deterring bugs. It is highly acidic, so an acid neutralizer should be added around the base of hardwood flowering trees or shrubs to prevent an unhealthy absorption of too much acid in the soil.
- Premium Hemlock – The premium hemlock mulch used at J&J Materials is 100% hemlock that has received a color enhancement, keeping it a rich, natural red color throughout the season. Available year round, this mulch is made of a fine shredded blend and has a high acidic and unique odor like the aged-hemlock, requiring an acid-neutralizer in some applications. Of all the types of mulch in Massachusetts, premium hemlock will retain its color the longest.
- Dyed Red – As the name implies, this type of mulch is dyed red for color. Made of either hardwood or softwood, these chips are shredded to a consistent size before they are color enhanced. Due to the hardwood content, which can sometimes hold in too much moisture, this type mulch might not be the best mulch for landscaping in all types of planting situations.
Where to Get the Best Mulch for Landscaping in Fall River
If you are looking to find the best types of mulch in Massachusetts or Rhode Island for your residential or commercial landscaping project, look no further than J&J Materials. With locations spread out across Southeastern Massachusetts, J&J Materials has a wide delivery and service range, providing top quality mulch, landscaping and masonry supplies to clients all over the SouthCoast region. If you still aren’t sure how to identify quality mulch, speak with one of our sales representatives or take a tour of our facility, to learn more about the most popular Fall River landscaping mulch types available in our area.