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Erosion control measures - mulching

When you add mulch - organic or other suitable material to the soil surface - you can help prevent erosion and increase moisture retention in the soil. Mulches can be used both for gardening or landscaping beds and/or as cover on disturbed or exposed soil.

How much mulch do I need to purchase for a flower bed?

  1. Determine the size of your flower bed
  2. Decide the depth of mulch (ideally two to four inches)
  3. Multiply the size of your bed area by the depth of your mulch
  4. Divide the result by 324
  5. This is the number of cubic yards you'll need to purchase or pick up at no charge

Advantages of mulch

  • Reduces water runoff, conserves moisture and promotes infiltration
  • Good for areas that need temporary protection until plants are established
  • Depending on the mulch, can provide short and long term erosion control
  • Easy to apply and suitable for a variety of conditions (soils, slopes, etc.)
  • Great for plant growth (moisture retention, additional nutrients)
  • Seeds can be added to mulch to promote vegetation growth for added protection

Things to keep in mind

  • Some mulches are a fire hazard and can be blown away by wind 
  • Some mulches are not good for re-growth (wood chip and rock mulches)
  • Mulch may need to be topped up if lost due to decomposition or wind blow
  • Natural mulches decompose faster than synthetic
  • Mulching time will need to be longer than the time to seed and grow plants
  • Mulch must not be added when it's in a wet and/or moldy state
  • Unsterilized mulch might contain weed seeds or unwanted plant materials