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Morton Arboretum

Mulch lessons: What kind of layer helps your garden

Mulch lessons: What kind of layer helps your garden

Good gardeners know that spreading mulch is one of the most helpful things you can do for your plants, including trees and shrubs. Yet many homeowners aren't sure why mulch is a good thing, how to apply it or even what "mulch" is.

"It isn't necessarily a product that comes in a bag labeled 'mulch' at the home center," says Sharon Yiesla, a horticulturist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. "Mulch can be anything that forms a layer of decaying plant matter over the soil."

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The mulch we spread is intended to mimic...

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