Understanding Mulching Benefits

Mulching offers numerous benefits, including moisture retention, weed suppression, and soil temperature regulation. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides extensive resources on mulching techniques and its benefits for gardeners 11 (no follow).

Importance of Covering Plants

While mulching is advantageous, direct contact between mulch and plant foliage can lead to issues such as moisture retention on leaves, crown rot, and the promotion of pests and diseases. Therefore, it’s crucial to cover your plants to prevent these potential risks.

Risks of Mulch Contact with Foliage

When mulch comes into contact with plant foliage, it can trap moisture against the leaves, creating an environment conducive to fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and leaf spot. Additionally, certain mulch materials may contain pathogens or toxins harmful to plants.

Best Practices for Covering Plants

Before applying mulch, cover the base of your plants with a protective barrier such as cardboard, newspaper, or landscaping fabric. Ensure that the covering extends beyond the drip line of the plant to provide adequate protection.

Expert Recommendations

Leading horticultural experts emphasize the importance of protecting plants before mulching. Dr. Emily Green, a botanist and gardening expert at the University of Botany, recommends covering plants with breathable materials to prevent moisture buildup and minimize the risk of disease 22 (no follow).


In conclusion, covering your plants prior to mulching is a proactive measure to safeguard their health and prevent potential issues associated with mulch contact. By following best practices and expert recommendations, gardeners can enjoy the benefits of mulching while ensuring the well-being of their plants.

FAQs on Quick Tip Cover Your Plants Prior to Mulching

Why is it important to cover plants before mulching?

Covering plants before mulching helps protect them from potential risks such as moisture buildup, crown rot, and pest infestations associated with direct contact between mulch and foliage.

What materials can be used to cover plants before mulching?

Common materials for covering plants before mulching include cardboard, newspaper, or landscaping fabric. These barriers provide protection while allowing air and water to penetrate.

Can mulch contact with plant foliage cause any problems?

Yes, direct contact between mulch and plant foliage can trap moisture against the leaves, promoting fungal diseases like powdery mildew and leaf spot, as well as attracting pests.

How far should I extend the cover beyond the plant’s drip line?

It’s recommended to extend the cover beyond the plant’s drip line to ensure adequate protection for the entire root zone and foliage, typically about 6-12 inches beyond the plant’s perimeter.

Should I remove the cover after mulching?

It depends on the type of cover used. Non-biodegradable materials like plastic should be removed to prevent long-term damage to the plants, while biodegradable materials like cardboard or newspaper can be left to decompose.

Can I use any type of mulch over covered plants?

Yes, you can use various types of mulch over covered plants, including organic mulches like wood chips, straw, or bark, as well as inorganic mulches like gravel or stone.

Will covering plants before mulching affect their growth or health?

No, covering plants before mulching is a preventive measure to protect their health and promote optimal growth by reducing the risk of moisture-related issues and pest infestations.

How can I ensure proper airflow around covered plants?

To ensure adequate airflow, choose breathable covering materials like landscaping fabric or perforated plastic sheets. Avoid tightly wrapping plants, as this can restrict airflow and promote humidity.

Are there specific plants that require covering before mulching?

While most plants benefit from covering before mulching, it’s especially important for susceptible plants with delicate foliage or those prone to fungal diseases.

Where can I find more information on best practices for mulching and protecting plants?

Explore resources provided by reputable gardening organizations, agricultural extension services, and academic institutions for comprehensive guidance on mulching techniques and plant protection strategies.

Alexander Brown

Tagged in:

About the Author

Alexander Brown

Alexander Brown, the Herb and Flower Whisperer guiding this site, possesses an innate connection to the botanical realm. With a gentle touch and a profound understanding of herbs and flowers, Alexander shares his wisdom on nurturing and harnessing the power of nature's fragrant wonders. His site is a haven for those seeking to deepen their appreciation for the therapeutic and aromatic qualities of herbs and flowers.

View All Articles