Mulch - An Important Decision 

Mulch is an important decision. What “kind” of mulch do I buy? How is it applied? What are the reasons for mulch? These are all great questions and I hope to shed some light on the answers because it is so important.

Consumers are confused about mulch. After all, there’s black mulch, red mulch and brown mulch. There’s natural mulch and dyed mulch. There’s mulch comprised of shredded bark and mulch comprised of wood chips. There’s mulch that’s labeled “nuggets”. It’s enough to make your head spin!

When purchasing mulch, whether from your favorite garden center or your favorite landscape contractor, be sure to know what you are buying.

  • You are looking for a shredded bark much (the outer casing of the tree), a natural product.
  • You do not want anything dyed as the dye will leak into the soil and it is neither good for your plants or the environment.
  • When mistakenly choosing a mulch that is made up of wood chips, you are purchasing a non-natural product one that may be comprised of chipped up wood pallets or stumps of trees. Often times, insects are found and brought into the landscape when applying this type of “mulch”.
  • Nuggets are just that ….. Nuggets. They are not mulch and should not be treated as such.
Once you have made the correct choice in purchasing your mulch, applying and maintaining mulch should be an easy concept.  Mulching is an annual, common landscape practice that services a multitude of purposes. It aids in maintaining: soil temperature, it decomposes and adds organic matter to the soil and in doing so improves soil structure and drainage. Mulching improves Mycorrhizal activity. Mycorrhizal plants are often more resistant to diseases, especially those diseases caused by pathogens in the soil. Mycorrhizal fungi are important because they frequently increase plant nutrient uptake, uptake of water, phosphorus and/or nitrogen to help the plant growth.

Mulch also helps to retain moisture, suppresses weed growth, reduces erosion, prevents damage done from mowers and string trimmers that can occur when these devices are able to get close enough to the plants, and the best part … it looks beautiful!  


Some valuable information on mulch

How Much Should I Use?

Depending on the plant material where mulch is being applied, it should be put down between 1” – 3” thick and kept away from the base of the plants.

There is, however, such a thing as too much mulch. Often mulch is applied in excessive amounts around plant material or in landscaped beds. Insect and disease problems are often a result of excessive amounts of mulch, as is secondary root formation whereas the plants are trying to breathe and obtain moisture which is not readily available due to the excessive amount of mulch. Water movement through the mulch and into the soil is a real concern as the excessive amounts of mulch inhibits the plant’s ability to take up the moisture. The water simply cannot infiltrate the soil.  The thick mulch layer prevents evaporation as well which often times leads to the soil remaining too wet, thereby leading to root problems and reduced oxygen in the soil.  


Pesky Mushrooms?

The presence of fungi in mulch is also a common problem when mulch is piled too high around the landscape. Fungi such as slime molds, bird nest fungi, artillery fungus stinkhorns and mushrooms are often found in mulches. Fungi such as slime molds, bird-nest fungi, artillery fungus, stinkhorns and mushrooms are often associated with mulch due to decomposition. In general, many of the fungi are nothing but nuisances and are not harmful to the plants and not a health hazard unless consumed.

One fungi that we have seen in fairly high numbers due to contractors piling mulch too high is artillery fungus.  This fungus expels spore masses which stick to homes and vehicles when parked in close proximity to the landscape. These spores are very difficult to remove and can leave a stain on the surface. Replacing this mulch and freshening with less mulch in these instances is helpful.  

Mulch is an important decision.  Be informed.  Make the correct choice and most importantly, choose the correct contractor to apply it.  It will make all the difference in the beauty and the health of your landscape.

Congratulations Owen!

Please join us in congratulating Owen on passing the Massachusetts Applicator's Exam for the State of Massachusetts.  Owen joins Darlene on our team as a licensed applicator of herbicides and pesticides.  The license serves as a testament to his extensive knowledge in the areas of both insect and disease management.  We are so proud of Owen and proud to have him as part of the Churchill Gardens team.  Congratulations, Owen!  As always, a job well done!  

Would You Kindly Leave Us a Review?

As you know, all of us at Churchill Gardens are constantly striving to earn your business and referrals.  We work very hard to ensure that we not only meet, but exceed, your expectations.

If you have a few minutes, may we ask a favor?  We want other potential clients to know that we will work as hard for them as we do for you. We want them to know that we love what we do and it shows.

Please visit our 
Google page and leave a review so that when other people are choosing a landscape company for their upcoming project, they will appreciate your recommendation and perhaps allow us the opportunity to offer them as positive of an experience as we did for you.  

We thank you for your time; as always, we thank you for the opportunity to be of service.

Customer satisfaction is essential to us, and we'd love to hear your feedback on how you feel about our services. If you could take a few minutes to leave us a review on Google for us, we'd be so happy.

To submit your review, click the link below and let us know what you think.

Churchill Gardens Recommendations & Reviews

"Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud."
-Maya Angelou

Please keep us in mind for your next project. Visit our website at, email us at, and give us a call at (413) 448-2215.

We hope to hear from you!
Geri Jones, Owner

Follow Us on Social Media

Please write a review!
Copyright © 2023 Churchill Gardens. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
703 West Housatonic St Suite 220
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Want to change how you receive these emails?

You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Churchill Gardens, Inc. · 703 West Housatonic St Suite 220 · Pittsfield, MA 01201 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp