With cooler temperatures finally arriving in North Texas, it’s time to start thinking about what to do with those fall leaves and mulching your landscape beds. Water Expert Denise Hickey and Horticulturalist Patrick Dickinson shared the benefits of mulching on the most recent green segment on WFAA. Here are some highlights. Watch the full segment below.
Benefits of Mulching
Mulch increases our landscapes ability to absorb water and hold it longer, which means less watering. It keeps soil in place and smothers out weeds, which means less weeds to pull. It cools our soil during the summer and warms it during the winter, and it slowly breaks down adding nutrients into our soil. It is recommended to apply 2 – 4 inches of mulch.
- Increases water absorbing capacity
- Increases water holding capacity
- Reduces water evaporation
- Reduces erosion
- Helps control weeds
- Moderates soil temperature
- Breaks down into plant nutrients
Types of Mulch
Native mulches are great to use such as cedar and hardwood or even pine needles and pecan shell. It is recommended to steer away from rubber mulch and some mulches that have been artificially dyed. Pay attention to the material in the bag. “Perfect” cut wood that does not look natural but more processed, is just that processed wood. While they are typically recycled wood from pallets and dyed, these are not recommended because they don’t break down and help your soil. The leaves that fall from your trees make great mulch!
If you do remove fallen leaves from your yard and don’t want to use them as your own mulch, contact your city for pick up or drop off locations so it can be turned into compost. This is a great way to get landscape trimmings back in the landscape and not in our landfills. To help maintain water quality of our streams and rivers, don’t blow fallen leaves into the street and storm drains. It causes problems in our stormwater drains and increases the sediment in our lakes.
Automatic Irrigation – OFF Mode
It’s important to remember to keep automatic irrigation controllers in the OFF mode during extended rain events or rainy months like we’ve had in September and October. As we head into even cooler temperatures, beginning November 1, once a week watering (or less) is sufficient to keep lawns health while they go dormant. The best way to know when to water and when to wait is by signing up for weekly email alerts at WaterMyYard.org.
You can find more information on preparing for fall and so much more at WaterUniversity.tamu.edu.