How to Keep Mulch From Washing Away

Mulching is a crucial step in gardening. It helps retain water, increases drainage, repel weeds, and even maintains constant soil temperatures, which protect your plants from thermal shock.

Also, organic mulch will improve the ground’s nutrient content, meaning you won’t have to worry as much about fertilizing it. But if you live in a region when rain falls frequently, you might have noticed mulch washing away. And that might be bothering because mulch will be effective only if it stays in place. 

how to keep mulch from washing away

If you want to learn more about the subject, don’t worry: you’ll find all you need to know to keep mulch from washing away in this essential guide!

The good news is that, once you get to learn about the methods you can use, you won’t have to worry about caring for mulch after a rainy or windy day.

What’s the Best Type of Mulch? 

how to keep mulch from washing away

Before we get into the methods to keep the mulch in place, you should have a clear idea of the best type of mulch for your garden. Indeed, what you choose to add around your plant will affect its durability in your yard.

For instance, if you live in a windy area, you should avoid using lightweight mulch, which is challenging to keep in place and will float away with the slightest wind (or rain). Instead, use mulches that consist of heavy wood chops, gravel, or bark nuggets. 

Alternatively, you can use pea gravel, which is heavy and aesthetically pleasing: it will stay in place for longer than other types of mulch! 

Additionally, it adds a rustic but elegant touch to your garden, which always comes in handy! 

If you need a low-cost solution, you can use organic mulch, which you can create from compost or buy at your favorite gardening store.

The added value of using this type of mulch is that it will increase the nutrient content in the soil. Also, despite its texture, organic mulch doesn’t usually wash away as simply as wood bark.

Use A Physical Barrier

how to keep mulch from washing away

One of the most effective ways to prevent mulch from washing away is to add a physical barrier. Doing so will help you stop the flow of water that will carry away mulch when it rains.

You can create yours with several materials, including wood, stone, concrete, and plastic. Unleash your creativity and think about how you could use them for decorative purposes! You can make them effective and appealing at the same time. 

For instance, you should consider using pebbles or stones to create an appealing barrier at the edges of your garden. Alternatively, you can also use concrete pavers or rolls of plastic to keep the mulch in place.

Consider Getting A Mulch Lock 

You can also purchase a “mulch lock,” an adhesive stabilizer that will last up to a year and will help you keep the mulch in place. It might be your most practical solution if you know that you’ll deal with plenty of rain and wind.

Don’t forget to ensure the soil around your plants is well-draining. You don’t want water accumulating as it will cause the mulch to wash away.

Plant A Low Growing Groundcover 

Additionally, you can get a groundcover if you need something to anchor mulch to the ground. These plants will help improve water retention and add another layer of mulch that aids the first in staying in place.

Examples of groundcovers include creeping thyme, sweet woodruff, coral bells, and ice plant. However, don’t be afraid to experiment with other options! But don’t forget to ensure the plant works well in your USDA hardiness zone to avoid problems.

Avoid Using Fabric (Or Other Protections) Around Your Plants

While you may want to use fabric to keep the soil temperature constant and protect your plants from thermal shock, you should avoid that if you live in a rainy region. Indeed, such material will create the ideal surface for mulch to slide.

So, no matter the kind of mulch you use, you’ll probably experience problems with black fabric or underlay plastic sheets. 

Also, don’t forget to even the surface: slopes will increase the chance of mulch washing away. You can also plant garden beds if you don’t want to flatten the surface. 

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