Once you've decided to put down wood mulch in your garden, you have to determine what kind of mulch to use. This isn't just a question of choosing the right kind of wood for your soil. More importantly, you also have to decide whether to use a coarse or fine mix. For example, you can go for a finer grade of mulch like a flaked or shredded product. But what is flaked mulch and what are the advantages of using it?
What Is Flake Wood Mulch?
Flaked wood mulch contains the same base ingredients as chipped products. For example, a pine chip mulch uses the same wood as a flaked mulch. However, the difference here is in the composition and manufacture of the mulch itself. Bark chips are typically small pieces of wood that have been cut down into chunks. When you turn wood into a flake mulch, you cut the bark into flaky and stringy pieces. The mulch is shredded rather than chopped up.
What Are the Advantages of Flake Mulches?
While some gardeners like to use standard wood chips as mulch, others prefer a flake. Here, the bark breaks down into longer and thinner pieces. You get a different kind of coverage and mulching effect. So, if you use a flaked product, then the shreds of wood sit tightly together on the ground. Once they get wet or moist, they bond together a lot more easily than chips. The flakes work more like hay or straw in this respect. They are often better at allowing water down into the ground they cover.
What this means is that you get a mulch that typically is better able to stick together. Bark chips tend to sit alongside each other. They can leave gaps on the ground. However, mulch flakes create a mat on the ground. They tend to give you closer and more even coverage.
This coverage is also useful if you're putting mulch down on sloped areas or on open parts of your garden such as paths. The flakes are less likely to move around, blow out of position or get washed away when the weather is windy or rainy. Plus, flake mulch usually breaks down faster than mulches that contain more solid pieces such as chips, as these flakes are smaller and softer. This ensures that all the soils get nutrients from the flakes as they break down. As a result, your mulch could start working a lot sooner.
To find out more about flake mulches and the types of bark that will suit your garden, contact landscape supplies companies.