Why Do You Need Mulch?

Why do you need mulch in your flower beds? Especially here in Austin?

To answer this question I went through several possible acronyms to describe why you need mulch. I ended up with… SIPS! (PISS didn’t seem like it was appropriate – though it may have been more memorable).

Here’s why you need high-quality, native, hardwood mulch in your yard this summer:

S – Slow release fertilizer

I – Insulation/Water retention

P – Pretty

S – Stops Weeds

Let’s break these down further and talk more about mulch varieties.

Slow Release Fertilizer

If your mulch is native (meaning it comes from this area), and it’s high quality (meaning it doesn’t have a bunch of chemical additives) then it is compositionally made up of EXACTLY what your landscape needs nutritionally.

Mulch is already partially broken down – it is in the process of decomposition.

As mulch breaks down further into its most basic parts, the plants and landscape around it absorb these basic building blocks (imagine the plants eating it).

This makes for good and healthy and resilient plants.

Insulation/Water Retention

You know how some houses leak air conditioning and others hold in all that cool air? The difference is insulation.

Mulch insulates the root systems and soil of the plants they surround.

This keeps the water in the soil and makes it more accessible for the plants which in turn decreases your water bill and increases your plant health. Win-Win.

Side Note: Have you ever noticed that in nature, plants seem to collect leaves at their base? The wind blows them. The plants trap them. The leaves turn into “mulch” over time. God’s design or Mother Nature’s genius – I just think it’s cool.


Everyone knows that a freshly mulched lawn looks great.

Stops Weeds (or at least slows them)

Consistently adding a thick layer of mulch (3-4 inches) stops or slows weed germination year-round. This means that mulch installation is actually a maintenance issue. If weeds do persist, they are much easier and faster to pull.

What kind of mulch do you need?

Now that you know WHY to have mulch in your yard, the next obvious answer: WHAT KIND?

Mulch is mulch right? **Face Slap** NO!

Mulch is not all created equal.

  1. The more local the better. We source our mulch from several vendors around town that get their base product from the local area. We actually pay them to take our green debris, then pay them to give it back to us once turned to mulch. It’s important to get local mulch bc at the most basic level – compositionally – the organic building blocks are best suited for this area.
  2. The more basic the better. You want to introduce as few chemicals and dyes as possible. Our favorite kind of mulch is native hardwood mulch. But a lot of customers request “black mulch”. In order for the mulch to be black, it has to be dyed. It is brown hardwood mulch that is dyed black. This isn’t the end of the world and it doesn’t necessarily hurt the landscape. But it is slightly more expensive and it does introduce some additional chemicals to the landscape.
  3. The less chunky and processed the better. It is easy to find chunky and processed mulches at the local stores. These are popular bc they last a long time. But they only last a long time bc they aren’t breaking down like a real mulch should. This goes against all of the points above related to plant health.

So for the love of landscapes, get good mulch. Install it in your yard. Put the kids to work. Or have us help.

Call (512) 291-7050 or request a fast free quote today.