Is the color of your mulch fading? Or is your garden suffering from excessive rain? How often replace mulch? You must consider providing the correct care for your garden’s mulch. It is important to realize that climate change and frequent rains significantly enhance the natural breakdown of mulch. Consequently, mulch decomposes in the soil and changes color. It exposes the grass to a hostile environment, which eventually results in challenges such as weeds and soil depletion.
Thus, the question of “how often should mulch be replaced” emerges. It is dependent on a variety of circumstances, including the type of mulch used, the surrounding environment, and the mulch’s quality.
Why You Should Replace Your Mulch
How Often to Replace Mulch?
To get the best idea about “how often replaces mulch”, there are different facts you should consider. Actually, those factors are different conditions, if you come across such conditions, you can replace your mulch accordingly.
All the conditions are mentioned below:
Check your mulch at the start of the spring season every year. If it is in good condition, you do not have to change it. In contrast to it, if the mulch has been degraded to little particles, then you are better to replace this mulch.
If your mulch is organic, you should replace it if it is deteriorating or becoming thin over time. As organic mulch gets thin over time because it gets broken down into particles that we call nutrients and deliver those particles to the soil.
If your mulch is inorganic, you can replace it depending upon the type of mulch.
If your mulch is a rock type, which means a mulch type you are using where plant are not required or needed to be killed, you might not need to replace it for many years. Many years means more than 20 years.
If your mulch is a rubber type, you can replace it after more than 10 years depending upon the usage.
If your mulch is crushed shells, gravel, shingle, slate, pebbles, or stone chippings, then you can replace or improve it after 3 years to give it a more appealing look.
If you observe discoloration, soil erosion, or the existence of weeds then mulch should be replaced every 5-6 years.
There are numerous more aspects that can contribute to replacing mulch either early or late.
These factors include the type of mulch, climate fluctuations, and environmental circumstances.
So, mulch should be replaced when it is necessary to be replaced.
Mulching Too Early or Too Late:
When you replace mulch too often in your lawn, it can cause a waste of time, money, and effort.
On the contrary, when you replace mulch too late, its color can fade and it will start breaking down. As a result, the nitrogen requirement of plants and soil will not be fulfilled.
In that case, high nitrogen mulch should be provided.
Soil erosion, decomposition, and discoloration are the signs when mulch is needed to be replaced. If it is decomposed completely without replacing, it will no longer provide nutrients to the lawn. Moreover, it will be unable to protect your lawn.
After the degradation of mulch, it will not retain moisture. As a result, weeds will emerge.
Un-dyed mulch will lose its color after a certain time. It will still be effective yet unattractive. The point often overlooked is that dyed mulches contain cheap chemicals that can be harmful to plants. So, dyed mulch should be replaced after a year.
Above all, bark mulch will last longer than other types of mulch. So it is needed to be replaced after 5-6 years.
Shredded mulch is affected by rains and winds so it is required to be mulched more often than other types.
Poor or Excessive Mulching:
If a low amount of mulch is provided to the lawn, it is decomposed early and it will leave some spaces where weeds can grow, and ultimately, insects will grow there.
On the other hand, if an excessive amount of mulch is provided, it will form a thick layer over the lawn. As a result, sunlight and air (oxygen) will not pass through it. Eventually, anaerobic bacteria and harmful chemicals will be produced there.
How to Replace Mulch?
For replacing mulch, you are not required to remove the old mulch. Few factors are required to be considered such as:
- Add mulch to the existing mulch.
- Mulch layer should be 3-4 inches thick.
- Leave 2-3 inches of space around base of plants.
- A balanced of mulch should be provided. In this way, your mulch will last longer and your lawn will be healthier.