Worst Mulching Mistakes

How to Avoid the Worst Mulching Mistakes?

The worst mistakes homeowners commit while installing mulch in their yards are ‒ building mulch volcanoes, too much mulch, and choosing the wrong mulch, among others. Mulch makes your plants in the lawn healthy and happy. However, while installing mulch on the lawn, many homemakers tend to commit serious mistakes. You can easily avoid these mistakes if you are well-informed about the best mulching practices.

From selecting the right seasonal plants to installing an outdoor kitchen, our landscaping services can do it all for you. Contact us today for a stunning landscape!

Worst mulching mistakes to avoid

Most homeowners prefer to do mulching with a DIY option. It leads to several work mistakes, which can cost the lawn’s health. The following are some of the worst mulching mistakes which you should avoid: 

1. Building mulch volcanoes 

Plants and grass need oxygen, water, nutrients, and light to grow. They dislike the idea of suffocating piles of shredded bark seen over their base. The mulch volcanoes prevent the roots from getting air and water. It also promotes pests, insects and diseases. Some owners do it to get giant cones in their yards and consider it a solution to prevent weed eaters from damaging the tree trunk. 

Regardless of the reason, building mulch volcanoes is always a bad idea. Spreading 1-3 inches of mulch can help promote good tree health. You should only extend the mulch over the drip line of the tree. It will prevent the trimmer and mower damage in your yard and the tree’s competition to get the nutrients. It also appears good as compared to the mulch volcanoes.

2. Too Much of Mulch 

You’re mistaken if you think adding too much mulch gives you better results. Using excessive mulch on your lawn can have adverse side effects. Experts recommend  adding 1 or 2 inches of mulch during the springs. It will help the flower beds to retain sufficient moisture content. It also helps deter the pesky weeds and thus even keeps the landscape from appearing polished. Mulch is often used in commercial and residential lawns with plants. 

However, piling the space with too-thick mulch can add mulching mistakes, among the worst mistakes people commit in their yards. If you pile up the flower beds with extra mulches, the soil becomes soggy, and it will promote several plant diseases. Also, adding excessive mulch suffocates the plant roots. They need sufficient air to breathe. So, you better stick to adding only 1 or 2 inches of a layer to your lawns to avoid this mistake.

3. Not Enough Mulch 

If you do not add sufficient amounts of mulch, you are again committing a mistake. This will help the weeds prosper in the flower beds, preventing the plants from growing in your yard. It will not keep the soil moist and in good condition and even stop water conservation. 

As mulch is organic, you can see them settling down and making it thin with time. It only means it can break and make the soil rich and more fertile. You can find it hard at work in your yard and thus fail to boost the landscape. However, it doesn’t appear good when you find the mulch thin. 

To avoid this mistake, you should replace the mulch every spring season. You can find some customers adding some extra layer during the fall season, allowing the fresh mulch to appear consistent around the year.

4. Choosing the wrong mulch 

You may get a free mulch from the local civic body when they have shredded their old trees during the festive time or from your local hardware store. We know all the mulches are created differently. The mulch you get free can have weed seeds, insects or pesticides. These can add a negative impact on your yard. 

If you are doing this, you are committing a big mistake. So, when choosing quality mulch, you should have double shredded hardwood bark mulch. It will help go the extra mile to add dark brown mulch. The color added to the mulch can help make it appear nice and dark. 

It may appear a bit expensive, but the look and feel you get with this mulch will always make you invest in it. You can even choose black or red hardwood mulch that can add beauty to your yard.

5. Using plastic or geotextiles underneath 

A few homeowners use geotextiles or plastic-like landscape fabric to separate the mulch, like stone mulch, from the soil. These people believe that black plastic plays a role in regulating weeds. However, adding plastic or any other landscape fabric can give away water runoff, giving a streamlined and clean look. 

Instead, you should use only organic mulch, which can further break down like any shredded hardwood bark. Avoid landscape fabric as you are keen on keeping the soil in contact to improve its quality. Using plastic or landscape fabric can only prevent water and rain from reaching inside the soil and boosting the runoff. 

6. Mulching too early 

As the weather gets warm, we see many homeowners want to revive their lush landscape too quickly. However, experts feel it is a gross mistake to put down the mulch in the early spring. However, the grass takes time to warm during the springs, and if you mulch at this stage, it can prevent the warming process.

So, you should know when to mulch to avoid this mistake. Generally, you can apply mulch in mid or late springtime. You can reapply during the summer to retain an optimal level of moisture in your landscape. During winter, it acts to insulate it from the cold.

7. Neglecting the weeds

Having a good mulch layer can prevent the growth of young and small weeds. However, these cannot remove the well-established weeds. It is always good to get rid of the patches of weeds or the established weeds before you consider mulching your lawn. If you avoid treating the weeds before mulching, it can hurt your plants. Some of the weeds can spread even under the mulch. 

The newbies going with DIY mulching tasks often believe that adding mulch can solve the problems of weeds on their lawns. Hence, getting rid of the weeds is always recommended before you start laying the mulch. Apply a pre-emergent weed preventer over the mulch bed to address the future weeds that can grow beneath the mulch.

8. Not Using the mulch 

A few homeowners feel they can save money by avoiding adding mulch. However, this is the worst mistake to commit. There are several benefits to adding mulch to your lawn. It acts as a fresh carpet on your lawn, giving your yard a clean and neat appearance. It also makes the soil healthy, thus allowing the plants to grow without hassle. It secures the plant roots from the hot sun rays and the freezing time during winter. Mulch helps in preventing the rain from washing away the soil.

What type of mulch to use?

Adding quality mulch can help keep your flower beds healthy and flourishing, while adding old and bad quality mulch can negatively impact. Thus you should use the following raw materials for your mulching task: 

  • Natural mulch, including bark, straw and compost 
  • Inorganic mulch, including plastic sheets and shredded tires

You can even use the combination of organic and inorganic raw materials as mulch. Using the right mulch can help avoid any mulching mistake on your lawn.

What are the signs of excessive mulch in your yard? 

It is a gross mistake to add excessive mulch in any yard. It can have negative implications. The following are the signs of excessive mulching in your yard, which are often resulting from incorrect mulching. Let’s check the signs: 

  • Early leaf drop
  • Softer bark often seen at the tree’s base
  • Dead branches
  • Smaller leaves that the shrub or tree typically has
  • Rotting flower stems
  • The presence of mold, fungus, or disease

If you find any signs, you can be assured about having excessive mulch in your yard.

When should you mulch in a year? 

The best time to mulch is during the spring and the fall. This means you should mulch twice a year. If you want to pursue this task, you should start preparing the planting beds in February last week. This includes removing the winter’s debris, cleaning edges, and cutting the perennials and ornamental grasses. Then start laying 1 or 2 inches of mulch to keep the space neat and clean. 

In conclusion, the worst mistakes homeowners commit while installing mulch in their yards are ‒ building mulch volcanoes, too much mulch, and choosing the wrong mulch, among others. You can carry out the mulching task on any free weekend with your DIY approach. However, carrying out this task on your own has a fair amount of chances of committing mistakes. The best option is to hire a competent lawn care service provider to avoid them.

We at Eden understand your mulch requirements. Our team is well-versed in the best practices involved in mulching using the best tools. Professional work is always better than the DIY approach as it can prevent all the mistakes, discussed above. 

From selecting the right seasonal plants to installing an outdoor kitchen, our landscaping services can do it all for you. Contact us today for a stunning landscape!