Mulching your flower bed is a good way to both enrich the soil and keep the plants healthy so that they thrive. A good layer of mulch can help reduce weed growth, maintain a constant soil temperature and keep a good level of moisture in the soil for the flowers. You can use organic mulch or inorganic mulch on your flower bed.
Organic Mulch vs. Inorganic Mulch
When evaluating the type of mulch to use on the flower bed, you can choose between organic and inorganic. Organic mulch is made of organic materials such as leaves and shredded branches. Inorganic mulch is made of things like pebbles and gravel.
Organic mulch is typically the best option because it actually enriches the soil at is decomposes. If you have trees in your yard you could use a vacuum leaf mulcher to tidy fallen leaves and make your own organic mulch at home. However, inorganic mulch does have its benefits because it does not break down like organic mulch, which means you do not need to replace it as soon.
When putting mulch in your flower bed, you need to put just the right amount on the soil. Too much can result in excessive moisture retention while too little does not protect the soil from temperature changes and weed growth. Generally the right amount is between two and four inches deep. A layer this thick should be just right for most soil. After the mulch settles, you might want to consider adding another inch on top since it decomposes. Be sure to not smother the flowers with the mulch. Instead, leave a little space around each plant.
When To Mulch
Mulching is something that should only be done to your flower bed once you have removed all of the weeds, including their roots. The best time of year to put down mulch is right before the weather gets warm in the late spring. This is so that the weeds cannot germinate. As you notice the mulch compacting and decomposing, you can reapply as needed.