This view gave me this mornings topic.
It's cheap... but it instantaneously improves the look of landscaping.
Mulch is what you put down on top of your planted areas to cover and protect the soil. It helps prevent water loss and keeps weeds from growing around established plants. It can also help regulate temperature around sensitive plant roots. Mulch is also decorative around the base of a bush or tree and lining walkways.
Mulch can be artificial or natural. Although I prefer the natural due to cost, mulch made from rubber does tend to 'stay put' better. Mulch can be made from everything from bark to cocoa bean pods. I'm specifically thinking of bark this morning.
Bark mulch can be bought for about $3.99 for a large bag that can cover about 4-5 square feet (depending on how deep you lay it). It comes in many different varieties and colors, while the cedar mulch smells the best in my opinion.
Mulch is typically dyed in three colors;
Even though you have an instantly 'finished' look when you use it, be aware that bark mulch, although cheap, is also light in weight. A heavy downpour can displace some of it, black birds digging for grubs will displace pieces and even a hard wind might blow a few pieces across the yard. It also fades. Not immediately, but it's a one-season landscaping fix and by the next season you'll want to top off the area's with fresh mulch to brighten it up and replenish what is missing.
An affordable and quick addition to your yard, it's budget friendly and you can see results of your labor with in minutes of starting a project.