Enhance Any Landscape With Live Mulch

Brown mulch is out and ground cover or “live” mulch is in. Instead of spreading wood chips, peat or straw over planting beds, consider spreading a ground cover that will spread out over bare soil. So what is live mulch? Any plant that is used to cover an area of soil and adds nutrients, enhances soil porosity, decreases weeds and prevents soil erosion, among other attributes. The practice of spreading a ground cover stems from an agriculture practice of protecting the open space in a field with a crop cover.

Live mulch was a practice that is gaining ground in the landscaping industry. Thomas Rainer, a landscape architect in Washington, D.C., who designed projects for the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the New York Botanical Garden, devoted his keynote address to the concept at Pacific Horticulture’s Changing Times, Changing Gardens summit in Santa Rosa, California.

Landscape professionals are embracing the idea of live mulch, saying this alternative is more attractive and better for the environment. Live mulch keeps the soil cool and moist. By adding a lushness to the landscape, it prevents unwanted weed seed development and washouts.

6 of the most popular ground covers are:

  1. Thyme
  2. Sedum
  3. Sweet Woodruff
  4. Bishop’s Weed
  5. Ajuga
  6. Brass Buttons

Landscapes have developed over time to isolate plants from one another, which is not consistent with plant development found in nature. The addition of live mulch to any landscape will provide dimension and form a more realistic ecosystem.

Incorporate live mulch into any landscape:

  1. Spread across the lowest level of your entire landscape
  2. Build tiers in the landscape by adding in shrubs, perennials, and trees
  3. All plants will flourish from the natural ecosystem you create

Start incorporating live mulch onto your sites and let us know how it turns out.