When you think of applying fall mulch, do your thoughts typically turn to that extra layer that protects plants in cold regions from the ravages of a hard winter? We suggest applying fall mulch just like you do in spring, adding enough to refresh what’s broken down. Many landscaping professionals actually practice—and prefer—fall mulching. Fall mulch works like spring mulch to retain soil moisture, suppress weed growth and protect bare soil from erosion.
Fall mulch insulates soil, providing a warmer environment for the soil-food web, including earthworms and microbes. Warm soil means these organisms stay active longer into the cold season, improving your soil. It also insulates plant roots.
Why You Should Practice Fall Mulching
Mulch in fall to skip that job come spring. Every gardener knows spring is a busy time, and late fall typically offers a leaner to-do list of garden chores. Fall mulching frees up time next spring.
Cooler weather makes tackling a heavy job like mulching more pleasant. You work up less of sweat when air temps hover in the 50-degree range.
Cut back perennials for winter, and you create a clean bed surface that makes mulching a snap. There’s no dodging emerging bulbs, perennial shoots or seedlings. The bonus is that cutting perennial stems down in fall takes that chore off your spring to-do list.
Fall mulching gives you another chance to enjoy the Great Outdoors before winter weather ends your outside garden season.