Give your garden a nutrient boost and improve the look at the same time with a mulch application! Today, we’ll show you how to calculate the amount of mulch you’ll need, what types of mulch are available, and how to apply it to your garden or tree roots.
Mulch is any material placed on top of the soil, usually surrounding desirable plants or trees. There are also two kinds of mulch: organic and inorganic. An example of inorganic would be something like recycled tires or pebbles. While these options are aesthetically pleasing, they won’t provide the same nourishment for your plants, though rocks can be useful in preventing water run-off. We’ll focus on the organic options in this article since they can serve as a lawn maintenance tool in addition to adding beauty.
Not only are these decorative, but they’re also great for suppressing weeds and grass growth in areas like flower beds. There’s one drawback: wood chips aren’t ideal for veggies, so keep this in mind if you want to grow a veggie patch.
If you’ve got a tree or two, you’re in luck! Mow your lawn with the bag attached, and you’ve got free mulch! If you don’t have a mower with a bag attachment, consider buying a mulcher that fits over a garbage bin. You’ll want to shred the leaves into smaller pieces so they can work into the soil. Letting too thick of a leaf layer sit on top of the soil can lead to root rot. Leaves can also be incorporated into tree and shrub care service plans. Add a ring around the base of any ornamental plants that need help retaining moisture. More on this in a few paragraphs!
Possibly the best thing you can do for your veggie garden. It’s probably the most affordable option since you can easily create grass clippings through your regular mowing routine. However, it doesn’t look very aesthetic, so if the exterior design is important to you, keep that in mind.
Composting your kitchen scraps is an excellent way to create free topsoil. Keep in mind that compost tends to be on the dryer side, which isn’t ideal for plant roots. If you opt for compost, sprinkle a light layer over the soil and make sure to water it. If possible, gently massage it into existing garden beds with a hand rake. This will also help break up compacted soil on the surface so water can more easily reach plants’ roots.
Straw or Hay
A layer of straw or hay creates a crisp look for your vegetable or flower bed. It’s great at retaining moisture as well, which means you won’t have to water as often.
Whichever type of mulch you choose, they all share some of the same benefits.
Weed control – By shading the soil, mulch inhibits the growth of undesirable fauna like weeds.
Moisture retention – You won’t have to water as much or as often.
No splashing – When you water over mulch, it prevents the soil from splashing onto plants’ leaves, thereby reducing certain diseases.
First, measure the area you wish to mulch. Multiply the length and width and round up to the nearest whole foot. Once you have the square footage, you’ll need to decide how thick a layer of mulch you want to put down. For most flower beds, two to three inches will suffice. If you have a coarser material, like bark chips, or you want to suppress weed growth, aim for six inches. Multiply the square footage of the area you wish to cover by how thick a layer you want. For example, a 25′ x 25′ yard is 625 square feet. 625 x 2 = 1,250 hundred square feet. Now divide this number by 324 since 1 cubic yard of mulch will cover 324 square feet 1 inch deep. So in this example, 1,250 divided by 324 is 3.85. Rounding up to the nearest whole number, you would need 4 cubic yards of mulch. You can also skip the math and manual labor and trust the expertise of lawn treatment companies like Gro Lawn!
How to Mulch
First, make sure you’ve weeded the area. Laying down mulch on top of existing weeds defeats the purpose. Second, spread the mulch around with a trowel, rake, or hand cultivator to ensure an even layer. Pro tip: if you’re going to be moving a lot of mulch, open each bag inside a wheelbarrow. It will make dispensing easier. For mulching around trees, leave a five-inch ring around the tree’s base and then mulch in a circle. This circle can be as wide as you’d like, but make sure not to have a very thick layer or a mulch volcano as it will harm the tree’s roots.
Here at Gro Lawn we are pleased to offer mulch installation to compliment your trees and shrubs or flower beds. Mulch is an excellent way to provide protection and nourishment to vulnerable plants while also adding aesthetic quality to your yard. We’d love to chat more with you about the different mulch options we offer! Give us a call at (817) 447-7711, or leave us a message online. If you’d like to learn more about lawn care, pest control, or discover the latest deals, be sure to read our monthly blog and like us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!