Monthly Archives: January 2019

Garden Mulch: Debunking the Myths

Experienced gardeners know that garden mulch offers a number of benefits. It conserves soil moisture, keeps weeds under control and enhances the appearance of the landscape. Plus, as it breaks down, mulch enriches the soil, thereby reducing the need for fertilizers and soil amendments.

However, not everyone is well-informed about mulching. Many misconceptions are floating around, and we’d like to clear the air. Here’s a look at the truth behind five common garden mulch myths.

Garden mulch myths debunked

Myth #1: Mulching Hinders Plant Growth

If you want your plants to flourish, shouldn’t you skip mulching? Doesn’t garden mulch suck nitrogen from the soil and make your garden beds acidic?

Many people seem to think so, but landscape experts say that mulching does not hamper plant growth in any way. And as we mentioned above, mulch actually benefits the soil.

Myth #2: Mulching Attracts Termites

Mulch your garden beds, and you can look forward to a termite infestation. Right?

Wrong. Termites aren’t going to suddenly invade your landscape after you lay garden mulch – that isn’t what they prefer to munch on. You’ll only see termites if they’re already present on your property.

Myth #3: Landscape Fabric Is a Must for Mulching

It’s surprising how many people think that if you’re planning on laying mulch, you should put landscape fabric down first to prevent weeds from growing.

Actually, taking this course of action keeps nutrients from reaching the soil, a key benefit of mulching. Plus, garden mulch does a good enough job at controlling weeds on its own.

Myth #4: More Mulch Is Better

If a few inches of mulch is good for your garden beds, more must be better – why not pile it on?

Excessive mulching can be a problem for your plants, as a too-thick layer can keep water and oxygen from getting to the roots. Be careful around trees as well, avoiding the trunk, or the bark may decay and attract insects, mice and fungi.

Myth #5: All Mulch Is Alike

It really doesn’t matter which mulch you use – or at least that’s what some people mistakenly believe.

In reality, gardening and landscape experts recommend using organic mulch whenever possible, as it improves soil quality and boosts plant health. Inorganic options, including landscaping rock, are generally better suited for decorative purposes and for use in yard areas with drainage concerns.

If you’re in need of high-quality organic garden mulch and you live in northern Utah, turn to The Dirt Bag.

Based in West Jordan, The Dirt Bag offers an array of bagged and bulk landscape materials, including compost, soil conditioner, landscaping rock and organic mulch. Delivery is free within Salt Lake County, and our team can also deliver to the surrounding northern Utah communities.

For more information on our products and services, or to arrange for delivery of bagged or bulk organic garden mulch to your home or business, contact The Dirt Bag today.

Characteristics of High-Quality Topsoil

Landscaping and planting season is nearly here, and you may need high-quality topsoil to level out low spots in your lawn and fill the bottoms of your raised bed gardens.

So, what type of topsoil should you purchase? How can you identify topsoil that’s tops in quality? For lawn and garden success, look for one that meets the following conditions.

How to choose high-quality topsoil

Darker Tone

When you compare topsoil from different sources, you’ll notice that they can differ dramatically in color.

Generally speaking, lean toward darker shades – anything from coffee-colored to almost-black. Rich, dark tones indicate a high level of organic matter, and the more organic material present, the greater the concentration of nutrients. Conversely, lighter shades show a lack of the nutrients plants need to grow healthy and strong.

Loose Texture

High-quality topsoil should crumble easily between your fingers and feel slightly gritty – the loose texture is another sign that it’s rich in organic matter.

When topsoil is too hard to crumble or forms into a clump when you test it out, it likely has too much clay. A high clay concentration can prevent an adequate amount of water and air from reaching the roots of any plants placed in it. And when plants don’t get what they need, they begin to decline in health.

Screening

Screening is another important characteristic to look for when shopping for topsoil.

Screened topsoil is sent through a mesh grid during manufacturing to ensure a consistent particle size. With unscreened versions, there may be a mixture of small and large soil particles – and that doesn’t make for an ideal growing medium. Worse, unscreened topsoil can lead to plant root rot. Screening, on the other hand, allows for better nutrient delivery and natural water flow, both of which help boost plant growth.

Buying High-Quality Topsoil

You can find topsoil at home improvement stores and garden centers, but why spend time hunting a high-quality screened version down and doing all the heavy labor to get it to your home when an easier option exists?

Some local landscape material suppliers – including The Dirt Bag here in northern Utah – will deliver affordable, top-notch topsoil to your property and unload it to the spot you specify. Whether you buy in bags or in bulk, this is a simple, cost-effective option.

The Dirt Bag, based in West Jordan, delivers bulk and bagged topsoil, garden mulch, organic compost, soil conditioner and all of our other landscape materials throughout Salt Lake County for free. And, our fee for delivery to the surrounding northern Utah communities is quite low.

For more information, or to schedule delivery of high-quality topsoil and any other landscape material you may need, contact The Dirt Bag today.