Mulches and mulching

Mulching is generally used to save water, suppress weeds and improve the soil around plants but it also gives your garden a neat, tidy appearance and can reduce the amount of time spent on tasks such as watering and weeding. Mulches help soil retain moisture in summer, rain to penetrate the soil in winter, prevent weeds from growing and protect the roots of plants in winter.

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Using bark as a mulch to reduce water loss around a rose. Image: RHS/Tim Sandall

Quick facts

Suitable for: The surface of bare soil and tops of containers
Timing: Mid to late spring, autumn or anytime for new plantings
Difficulty: Easy

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.