Mulch is made from different materials including wood chips, sawdust, grass clippings, rocks and plastic. The different uses for mulch depends in part on the material it is made from, but in general, mulch is used to lock moisture into the soil, prevent the growth of weeds and regulate the temperature in the soil. The best type of mulch for any area of your yard will depend on what is located in the general vicinity of the mulch, and what the purpose of the mulch is. Knowing which type of mulch is best for which area of the yard will help you get the most out of your mulch.
Around the Air Conditioner
Mulch can prevent the growth of weeds in the area around the air conditioner condenser. This is important because weeds and other growth can clog the fins of the condenser. Over time, debris and pollen from these weeds can coat the coils inside the condenser, which can impede air conditioner performance and contribute to the degradation of the condenser over time.
However, some kinds of mulch can be just as detrimental to the performance of the air conditioner as the weeds. Avoid any mulch made of lightweight pieces like wood chips or saw dust, because this type of mulch can blow into the fins of the condenser. Rock mulch is appropriate for the area around the condenser, as is plastic mulch.
In the Vegetable Garden
The type of mulch you choose for your vegetable garden will depend on the types of vegetables being grown. Plastic mulch is useful in gardens where the soil must be heated to aid the growth of the plant (as in the case with watermelon and tomatoes). For plants that don't need the soil to be heated, organic mulches are best because they conserve moisture in the soil, prevent weeds from growing and provide nutrients for the soil as they decompose.
By the In-Ground Pool
Mulch that is used within the vicinity of an in-ground pool should be heavy enough that it cannot blow into the pool. This means that most organic mulches are not appropriate for use close to the pool. Rock mulch and plastic mulch are the best mulches to use around the pool.
In The Front Flower Beds
The best mulch to use in the flower beds in the front yard is mulch that is attractive and uniform in color. This type of mulch contributes to the trim and tidy appearance of the flower bed, and keeps the attention on the flowers. Wood mulch is generally preferred for this purpose.
For more information about the best type of mulch to use in your yard, speak with a gardener or professional landscaper.