The Ultimate Guide How To Mulch Your Flower Beds, Landscape & Garden
Spring has sprung and if you’re like most people, you might be a little behind in your landscaping projects. Your flowers are beginning to bloom beautifully but they look a little bare & lifeless with no ground cover underneath to truly highlight their beauty. Saving an extra buck by mulching your own landscaping can be totally worth it, but you need to do it right. So here is a step by step guide on how to properly mulch your flower bed this year so that your flowers can preserve & your flower bed stays beautiful all summer long.
Before you can even get into the various steps of actually MULCHING your flower beds & landscaping, you need to decide which type of mulch you will be using, the two types you need to make your decision from would be organic mulch and inorganic.
Inorganic mulch refers to various shredded types of rubber and/or stone. Where as organic mulch refers to organic items such as pine needles (pine straw), shredded leaves, or most popularly, wood that has been shredded or chipped and occasionally colored as well for your specific desires. Both have various pros and cons including the amount of time that they stay good for, environmental friendliness, and effects on your plants. Once you have picked your type of mulch you’ll need to make sure you have enough to cover your entire desired area. The general rule of thumb is that all mulch needs to be 2-4 inches in thickness across all of your beds & landscaping. Commonly mulch will settle into the area & pack down or wash away as time goes on, but following the 2-4 inch thickness rule will help combat this as well as get you your full benefits of suppressing weeds, moisture retention & less wash away. In order to properly calculate the amount of mulch you will need for your entire project you can make a rough measurement of the desired coverage in square feet. Then multiply that size by the amount of inches deep that you want your mulch. Once you have that final number you will need to divide by 324 in order to accurately see how many cubic yards you will need for your project. If all that math seems ridiculous to you, please see our home page for an automatic project mulch calculator – all you need is your project area width and length and your desired thickness.
After calculating your project mulch amount & sourcing in your mulch, you’ll have to start the process of cleaning out your beds. There are two common mistakes many people make in the mulching process – one being laying down mulch on soil that has not been weeded. It’s important that your soil is as weed free as possible, of course there can obviously be weed seed remaining in the soil but that is one of the main reasons for mulching…to suppress weed growth. The other big mistake people make is spreading mulch too thin in the application of their garden or flower bed. As we stated earlier, a general rule of thumb is 2-4 inches thick, but some people will go as far to say 4-6 inches in sunny areas of your landscape or flower beds to truly discourage & properly prevent weed growth. In the application of your mulch to your beds, make sure to leave about an inch of width between the mulch and base of the flower to prevent moisture induced rot on the plants. Other things to keep in mind is that mulch will retain water & can then slow the process exponentially in the spring – if you have different perennials & need to speed up the growth you can pull the mulch away from them in the early spring so that soil will warm up inducing growth quicker.
These are our few tips for you as you start thinking about the proper way to start & finish your project. If you have any questions or need to order mulch for your project, please contact us today!