Types of Winter Mulch

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Aspiring gardeners will have better luck when they learn about the various types of winter mulch, including leaves, straw, shredded newspaper and other materials. Become a mulch expert with the help of this free video on winter garden care.

Part of the Video Series: Winter Garden Care
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Marci Degman, the aspiring gardener, and we're going to talk about types of winter mulch. Now, there's basically two different types, and two different reasons you would use these. In the summer, we tend to want to keep moisture in, so we use mulch for that purpose. In the winter, we want to keep, not necessarily keep things warm, we want to keep things even. So, the idea is to keep the temperature of the ground even. So, you can either go with something like this compost, which will also add nutrition, which is one of the reasons we like to use that in the fall, because it gives nutrition, and it breaks down, and basically goes down into the soil. But, sometimes we just want a blanket of air. Now, if what you want to do is just really, really protect a cold plant, for instance, you might want to use full size leafs like this. Or, if you've got a ground cover, or smaller plants, or perennials that are down into the ground, you may want to shred it. Now, the main difference is that in the spring, this kind of thing is going to create a thick mat that you've got to move away later. So, by shredding your leaves, you can see where I'm allowing air in. So, what you have to decide is, "Do I want to hold air down, or do I want to let air in?" So, I've got some really large maple leaves, and they're going to work really well to create a totally impervious blanket. But, they're not necessarily going to break down really fast for a nutrition. So, if you want just a blanket, you can use straw, you can use shredded newspaper, you can use bark, you can use a lot of materials that break down slowly just to keep things warm. Or, you can use compost, which will also provide nutrition. So, winter mulch, or winter compost, it's your choice.

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