Finishing the landscaping around your home will improve curb appeal and make your home appear more complete and beautiful. If you are considering using mulch as a finishing product, there are a few things to know to help keep things looking great for the foreseeable future.
Natural or Rubber Mulch
With mulch, you'll have a variety of products to choose from, but the one decision that you'll need to make right away is whether or not you want natural mulch or if you'd prefer rubber mulch.
Natural mulch has lots of benefits, including the ability to feed moisture into plants after the rain has passed. Rubber mulch doesn't hold any water, so there will be no excess moisture to feed into the plants for the hours or days after the rain has stopped.
Rubber mulch has lots of benefits as well – the main benefit being that it'll last several years before you'll need to replace it. Unlike natural mulch, the rubber mulch won't lose the color as quickly, nor will it begin to rot after several months on the ground. As long as you have a good landscaping cloth underneath and a solid border, the rubber mulch will continue to provide beautiful coverage for a very long time.
Fungus Issues with Natural Mulch
If you've had natural mulch around your home in previous years and have noticed small black specks appearing on the siding or furnishings around it, there is a problem with fungus growing in the mulch. Artillery fungus is known to thrive in natural mulch. As the sun heats the mulch, the fungus spores explode, shooting those little black specks several feet in every direction. Although these specks won't stain if you clean them off of the surfaces quickly, they can stain if they are left too long.
To fight the Artillery fungus, you have two options: opt for rubber mulch or treat the natural mulch with apple cider vinegar about once a month. The vinegar will kill the fungus before it has a chance to blast the side of your house with those little black specks.
Note: If you get a lot of rain, you may need to retreat the mulch more often than once a month. There are chemical treatments that will hold the fungus off longer, but there's the chance of damaging the other plants in the area.
Talk with your local mulch services to discuss your needs, and they will help you find the product that will finish your landscape in the best possible way.