Mulches don't just come in different varieties; they also have different grades. They range from fine products with very small pieces to coarser mixes made up from larger bits.

While you may think that a fine mix will look better on your garden, it's often better to go for a chunkier mulch. Read on to learn why.

Coarse mulch keeps your plants hydrated

One of the main benefits of mulching is to keep water in the soil. A layer of mulch provides a better growing environment and also reduces the amount of watering your plants will need. If you choose the right mulch, you get a better quality of soil and plants that need less maintenance. This is because a good mulch helps spread the water out on the top of the soil and keeps it there. It prevents the soil from drying out at this level. It also allows water to seep further down to reach plant roots.

However, you can run into problems if the mulch you use is too fine. Finer grades provide a dense layer on top of soil. Rain and moisture might not be able to penetrate down to reach root growth. The mulch itself can start to suck moisture up out of the ground. Your soil will be too dry and your plants won't get the hydration they need.

A coarser mix works to keep topsoil moist but also gives deeper soil space to suck in and draw down water. You get a more even moisture spread from the top to the bottom of the ground which is better for your plants.

Coarse mulch reduces plant disease

Finely graded mulches don't just prevent water from getting into the ground. They also retain water in the mulch itself. If they get too wet, they may never completely dry out. While this helps keep your topsoil damp, it isn't good for the mulch itself, because if mulch is wet for a long time, then it starts to rot. It can then spread diseases through the ground to your plants.

A coarser mix doesn't retain as much water. The fact that it acts more as a conduit keeps it from getting too wet. So, it should stay in better condition and shouldn't adversely affect your plants.

If you aren't sure which grade or type of mulch to use on your garden, have a chat with a mulch supplier. They can tell you more about how these products will work in your garden and on your plants.