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Your How-To Guide for Avoiding the Pitfalls of Mulching

As spring fever takes hold and you begin planting new shrubs or flowers in your yard, don’t forget one of the most important details: mulch!

Mulch is essential for your spring planting for two main reasons: the first is for protection and nourishment, the second is for aesthetic purposes.

Mulch protects and nourishes the shrubs, trees, and flowers you plant, helping them stick around for longer and look even better. Another benefit of mulch is that it retains some rainwater and keeps the soil moisturized while also protecting the soil from the direct glare of the sun. Your plants will get all the sunshine they need without worrying about shriveling up in the heat. Organic mulches also break down over time, promoting soil health and fertility. Mulch also supports weed control and prevents soil erosion.

In addition to all the plant benefits of installing mulch, don’t overlook its contribution to the overall beauty of your yard! Clean lines in place, scraggy weeds be gone!

Choose Your Mulch Wisely

There are three main colors of mulch: red, brown, and black. For aesthetic perfection, choose your mulch so that it works well with the present colors of your house and foliage. Black and brown mulches will work with almost any colors, but if your outdoor space contains golds, reds, and terracotta colors, red might be just the perfect complement! Modern homes with gray exteriors will be best suited with a black mulch, while brown mulch accentuates the beauty of red-brick homes.

When choosing your mulch color, remember to check where the color comes from! Poor quality brands will sell you colored mulch that will leak its colored dye into the ground and can be harmful for pets or children. Remember to investigate what kind of mulch you are using and what wood it is made from – mulch made from cocoa bean shells may not be pet-safe.

How Much Mulch is Enough?

Let us tell you right now – whatever number of bags you are thinking, add more. Mulching requires more bags of mulch than you can think – let’s just say it’ll take at least two trips to the local hardware store and let’s hope you have an SUV. Double check any bags of mulch you purchase as most home improvement stores keep their mulch in gardening bags exposed to elements. The holes in the bags meant for ventilation can also allow moisture to enter the bags and mold. While are there ways to salvage moldy mulch, we can assure you – it is a tedious, arduous business and nothing you want a hand in.

Besides the bags upon bags of mulch, you’ll need to gather a wheelbarrow, a shovel, a hand trowel, and ideally, a utility knife or some heavy-duty scissors. Cutting open the bags is not a job for household scissors and can dull them after excessive use on outdoor gardening bags. The trowel will come in handy when filling in the crisp detail work at the end.

Weed Prevention Tactics

Additionally you should invest in a weed barrier or net of some sort. This should be placed first before the rest of your planting to keep weeds from sneaking up on your flowers and then up through the mulch.

Another weed prevention tactic is to look into what type of retaining wall you’d like to implement in your mulching. Bricks, small stone pavers, or flexible metal sheets should be dug down into the soil between where you plan to mulch and where you plan to keep your lawn. This will keep your mulch out of your grass, and your grass out of your mulch!

Mulching – The Right Way and at the Right Time

When mulching there are a few words of warning you should keep in mind! First, when mulching around your trees and shrubs, place the mulch in a donut-looking mound, keeping mulch away from the roots of your trees and shrubs. Mulch on the roots can lead to root rot – the last thing you wanted to deal with in your landscaping endeavors. Secondly, mulch at the appropriate time. Mulch too early and you’ll be surprised – and not delighted – to discover that spring breezes and buds have brought a rainfall of seeds and whirly-birds to cover your fresh beds in Mother Nature’s own litter. Many a mulcher has spent a whole weekend beautifying and protecting their landscaping with mulch only to spend the next week tediously picking maple, elm and redbud seeds from the yard and garden beds. A small hand leaf blower can help blow these pesky helicopter looking seeds and “tree droppings” from your yard and onto a driveway for sweeping, but it’s best to prevent all the hassle by waiting til late springtime.

Does mulching seem too much to handle yourself? Call Envision at (818) 788-0808 or contact us online today! We’d be more than happy to take care of your landscaping needs including all the necessary mulching!