Right now, all we’re seeing and hearing about is social distancing methods to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 infection.   But at Cabin-Keeper, this is our time to spread Spring mulch before the heat of the summer arrives, which will hopefully also take care of the virus.

Why do we recommend mulching?  There are multiple reasons for using mulch. First, a fresh application of mulch improves the curb appeal of your property and an attractive yard is one in which your family wants to spend time enjoying it.  In addition to looking good, mulch will also help to keep the plants and flowers in your yards healthy.  Second, by installing the recommended layer of mulch, you are providing a natural barrier to minimize weed growth in your yards.  

Third, mulch creates a natural barrier protecting the soil from wind and rain allowing essential nutrients to remain by preventing your soil from washing away during heavier rains.  Finally, a recommended 2-4” of mulch will help to keep your soil from drying out in the North Georgia summer heat.  In the event of prolonged dry weather (hard to consider with the current flood watch but don’t be surprised!), there is also the added benefit of reduced watering or replacing plants which cannot survive the heat and lack of moisture without an adequate protective layer of mulch.

The best natural mulches for our North Georgia mountain area are shredded wood, pine bark nuggets or pine straw.  We like natural mulches because they also enrich the soil as they rot and create favorable environments for earth worms.  All are readily available at Home Depot, www.HomeDepot.com, and this is the time of year when you see some good deals, particularly on bagged shredded wood or pine bark mulch.  Of course, there are also “un-natural” mulches such as shredded rubber, plastic barrier sheeting, and I even tend to throw rock into this category.  All have their own benefits and pea gravel is a great insect barrier to use right around the home, but we’ll not focus on these items in this blog.

Shredded wood or small pine bark nuggets are longer-lasting and will not tend to float away in heavier rains, particularly the shredded wood.   Pine bark nuggets are better to use in bedding areas where barriers keep the bark from washing away.  Shredded wood such as cypress mulch also comes in different colors to create an eye-pleasing appeal to you landscape.   There are many landscaping projects using mulch where you can really customize and design your yard to your liking. This colored mulch is just one of many steps to aid in improving the appearance of your yard—without a large expense.   An additional benefit of cedar mulch is that its texture discourages snakes from slithering over it.

Pine straw, or pine needles, are a popular choice for use in landscaping applications in the South due to its abundance and low cost per area covered.  Pine straw tends to stay in place longer due to the way the needles interlock together.  This makes pine straw ideal on areas around your home or property that are sloped.  

Since it is that time of year to apply Spring mulch, I will be inspecting my customer’s landscaping and beds.  My inspection involves measuring and possibly loosening and turning the current mulch.  After this inspection, I can tell you if you should apply more mulch, particularly in those areas where you do have landscape plants.  Sometimes just turning the mulch gives it a fresh appearance.  Of course, if weeds are already appearing, then that means we need to kill them and immediately apply more mulch.  

Unless you really enjoy yardwork, don’t spend all your time working in the yard when Cabin-Keeper is available to handle your mulch and landscaping projects, including the addition of new plantings (that’s for another blog).  It’s Spring and time for you to get outside and enjoy your yard—what better place to practice COVID-19 social distancing!

Business and personal finances are tough for all of us now, right?  So how about we help one another?   If you refer a cabin owner in or near Ellijay, Blue Ridge or Blairsville, Georgia to Cabin-Keeper and they stay with our program for a quarter (you bring ‘em and we’ll keep ‘em), we’ll offer existing customers a $100 service discount or provide $100 cash for non-customers who have friends with cabins.   Do it now so we can start in time to spread Spring mulch !