Do You Mulch in the Fall?

Bag of Mulch near flowers

Yes, you should mulch in the fall, even though you can mulch at other times of the year as well. As fall arrives, the temperature gets less consistent, frost arrives, and moisture leaves the ground. Mulching your garden in fall can help protect your most cherished plants from damage as the seasons change. Plus, they will suppress weeds in the spring, making mulching leaves in fall one of the best ways to have a better garden in the spring. Here is what you need to know about the benefits of mulching in the fall and how to do it.

Benefits of Mulching in the Fall

Here are a few reasons why mulching in the fall can benefit your garden:

Get ahead of weeds: Fall mulch will suppress even the earliest spring weeds. If you leave mulching to spring, you probably won’t get out there until the weeds are already growing, even if you like to mulch directly after the snow melts.

Keep moisture: A layer of mulch will reduce late-season watering needs, so you spend less money and time on watering, and plants get more consistent water.

Protect from frost: Mulch provides insulation that helps plants and the ground beneath them to retain heat and not be too affected by fluctuating temperatures. They will eventually freeze, but not so dramatically, which prevents cell damage in plants.

garden bed with mulch Fall Mulching Tips

Ready to get started laying down a layer of fresh mulch? Consider these tips first:

Focus on mulch quality: The bottom layer of your mulch will decompose and become dirt, and therefore it will affect your soil quality. Be sure that your mulch quality matches your expectations for soil quality.

Match depth to moisture: Those in very moist microclimates, such as directly along a lake, need to mulch thinner than those in drier climates, like those in boreal forests. Too much mulch in a wet climate can make for rot and plant diseases.

Leaves need a boost: Using leaves for fall mulching is a great and free idea. However, leaves lack nitrogen and don’t introduce much to the soil. If you use fallen leaves, add some nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

Leave some room: Shrubs and trees benefit from mulch, but they need room to breathe around their trunk. Leave a few inches of a gap.

When is the best time to mulch in the fall? Ideally, you’ll mulch before nighttime temperatures start approaching a range that can damage your specific plants. At the very least, you should have your mulch in place before the first overnight frost.

If you want to have better-looking grass and plants come spring, follow these fall mulching tips. For more infomation reach out to us. We offer quality mulch and can tell you how and when to use it.