How to Lay Mulch?
Mulching your lawn may appear a simple task. Laying out an effective mulch requires more than these tasks like a shovel, dump, spread, and repeat. Adding a beautiful landscape around your property with healthy plants requires lots of hard work and time in mulching. Mulch is an organic and inorganic material applied over the plant beds.
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Mulch is meant to beautify your yard with the help of adding texture and color around the yard. Besides, mulch offers several other things to the plants and grass on your lawn. These include shading roots during the hot summer days. It helps in preventing moisture in your yard from evaporating. It prevents weeds from suffocating plants and grass. Here we will discuss the steps involved in laying mulch in your flower beds and other areas on your lawn.
How to lay mulch?
So, are you ready to dip your hard in the mulch? So, it’s time now to start mulching.
First, you have to collect the tools you need for mulching activities. The following are the important tools you need to mulch, have a look:
- Shovel – The first tool you need is a shovel or pitchfork, which helps mulch into the wheelbarrow.
- Wheelbarrow – These are used to move your mulch from one place to another within your yard.
- Rake – A bow rake is often known as the best rake meant for spreading mulch as these are shorter tines known to be rigid and strong. These are designed to spread and break up for spreading the mulch. You can also use a handy leaf rake to get the job done. You have to flip it over with the help of using the backside for a smooth job without any lump or bump.
- Gloves – These are used to secure your hands while spreading the mulch over the plants and difficult-to-reach places.
Now, follow the instructions listed below:
- Clean the beds: Get rid of the dried leaves, sticks, and old mulch of the earlier years. You have to add a freshness over the edges of your beds. Make sure you use a spade to clean the cut and define the lines between lawn and bed.
- Water your beds: If you do not have sufficient rain in your area, you must ensure that the dry beds get enough water. As we know, mulch helps retain the moisture content, and you need to apply an additional step for using the pre-emergent herbicide. It helps in preventing weed germination. It should be watered to make it activated.
- Remove the weeds: It is one of the critical benefits of mulching. It suppresses the weed growth and removes them without giving a head start.
- Spread the mulch: Use the shovel using your wheelbarrow or shake the much found in your bag into the small piles. You can use your hand to spread it, mainly when it is close to your plant base. You have already worked out the amount of mulch you need to lay on your yard.
- Water after mulching: It is an optional step; however, watering is a good idea as it helps settle the mulch into the right place.
How to maintain mulch beds?
If you want to make the most of your mulch, keep it well maintained. Some of the essential points are included as under:
Always keep your mulched area clean by getting rid of the debris. You can eliminate the weeds before they establish themselves and spread in the yard. You can use a garden rake during the season time to keep the mulch intact. It also helps in improving air and water circulation. Also, the mulch makes the surroundings fresh and keeps away the mold and fungus growth.
Keep adding a new mulch layer to maintain the depth. However, you shouldn’t be allowing the mulch bed to go too deep. If you have a fine mulch, it requires good replenishment frequently. If you can work in the existing mulch, it can help improve the air and water circulation before planning to add yet another layer.
If you find the organic mulch decayed, you have to start things again by adding a new mulch, thus making the existing material put over the soil, adding nutrients and then improving the soil structure.
If you find any strain on a concrete surface with colored mulch, you can remove it using a scrub and add water to rinse it. Lastly, avoid high-pressure water to help drive the mulch into the concrete area. You can further explore the topic – How to Avoid the Worst Mulching Mistakes.
What kind of mulch should you use?
There are different types of mulch used on a lawn. Some of these include the following:
- White marble chip rock – These are primarily used for decorative mulch played close to stone-edged beds of green plants.
- Organic material mulch – These are used to supply nutrients to the soil, making it practical for mulching flower beds.
- Inorganic mulch – These do not offer any nutrient value but are long-lasting. It is mainly used for general yard mulching activities, and you do not have to replenish it too often.
- Coarser mulch – These are offered with larger pieces, and they appear good with large-sized plants, including trees and shrubs. A fine quality mulch is suitable for smaller pieces of lawns and seems good with small flowers and plants.
- Heavier mulch – These work together and are less likely to wash away. It is a good choice when using it on slopes.
- Darker mulch – It helps absorb more warmth compared to a lighter color. It proves beneficial in cooling environments. A lighter shade is more popular in warmer areas, and it gets too much sunlight, but it comes with the right amount of heat that works on delicate plants.
How the mulch will work will depend on how you intend to use it. You can further check How to Choose the Best Type of Mulch for Your Landscape?
How much mulch do you need?
It is always good to use a topsoil calculator often found on the web for calculating how much mulch you need. However, before using these calculators, you must find out the values. First of all, you have to determine the square footage of the area you intend to mulch by measuring it. You have to measure the length and width and then multiply to determine the mulched area.
Also, you have to define how much depth of mulch you need to lay down in your targeted area. As per experts, you must choose 2 to 4 inches of the layer. You must multiply the square footage of the area you want to mulch with the number of inches of mulch you intend to apply. You then have to divide that number by 12 like a cubic foot of mulch as it covers 12 sq feet with around one inch of mulch.
For example, if your area to mulch comes to around 950 square feet, and you now plan to define a 2-inch deep layer of mulch in your area, it will come as 950 x 2 = 1900. Now, divide this number 1900 by 12 to get the answer 158.3. So, you would require around 158 cubic feet of mulch on your lawn. However, for big lawns, you need mulch in bulk quantity, which is delivered through trucks.
When should you mulch?
The best time to mulch is during the spring season. It is the time when you can benefit the most from your yard. Experts recommend laying the mulch when you have done the spring planting.
Also, you can mulch during autumn and winter. Spreading the mulch during autumn or winter can help create a stable space to help plants shift, as water or when the soil freezes, thaws and then refreshes. If you want to lay the mulch in flower beds or areas close to your mailbox, you are free to apply it in any season.
Should you remove the old mulch?
Experts say, removing the old mulch is unnecessary when you plan to add new mulch within your yard. Mulch breaks down with time, adding beneficial nutrients and other natural organic matter to the soil. Getting rid of the earlier mulch annually will free you from the extra work and the unwanted cost. As the spring season starts, check your old mulch and determine how much is remaining. It will help you determine how much more mulch you need for your next mulching task.
Can you make mulch?
Yes, you can make your mulch. It is done with the help of composting garden and kitchen waste. Also, you have the choice of making your leaf mold. If you know any local horse stables, you can use horse manure. However, before using it, ensure the animal manure is rotten down for two years or it can increase the stress level.
How to buy mulch?
Before you buy a mulch, you can check the following points:
- Always choose the right mulch you need for this task. For instance, if you want to improve the soil, you should avoid buying inorganic mulches.
- If you add organic mulches, you must replace them in a few years as they tend to break in the soil.
- You can also buy farmyard manure as it comes with the byproduct of factory farming.
In conclusion, laying mulch in your yard is not a simple exercise. It demands extensive effort and planning. However, planning to hire any professional landscape care provider can be a good choice as carrying out DIY ventures is a strenuous job. Eden is at your service if you want a solution for laying good quality mulch.