Lets talk mulch!

The proper use of mulch has many benefits: It can enhance the beauty of your landscape, suppress the germination and spreading of weed seeds, aid in soil moisture retention, and provide some protection to plant material against traffic heavy lawn equipment etc. What kind of mulches are best to use, and which should we avoid?

What kind of mulch is best?
Beautiful gardens start with great mulch. Save water with Smart Controllers like Controller LinkOrganic mulches break down and add nutrients vital to plant health into the soil over time. Rock mulches can cause damage to the soil increasing compaction and raising the temperature of your landscape. Tumbled glass is even more detrimental to your soil as it works as a magnifying glass to fry the soil. Items used in mulch include: Tree bark, wood chips, grass clippings, pine needles, shredded leaves, sawdust, straw, peanut hulls, peat moss, and recycled paper. Pine needles may affect plant growth and should be used cautiously. Mulch from softwoods break down faster than hardwoods this means that hardwood mulches need less frequent additions than softwoods. When choosing a source for organic mulch, remember: Darker is better and larger chunks will break down slower.
Just a note:
It is easy to confuse compost with mulch. But they are different additions to your soil. Compost first then add mulch. Compost consists of decayed organic material and animal manure such as: leaves, produce peels, etc. Compost should never be warm to the touch upon use. The heat means that it is still actively decaying and releasing high amounts of nitrogen that can burn plant material.