HOW TO INSTALL MULCH

HOW MUCH MULCH WILL YOU NEED?

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Too much mulch can suffocate your plants.  Generally a one (1) to two (2) inch layer of fine mulch should be sufficient, while a coarser material should be three (3) to four (4) inches deep.

1.  Calculate the surface area and the desire depth of coverage to determine how many cubic feet of mulch is needed.  (There are 27 cubic feet in one (1) cubic yard.  One (1) cubic yard will cover a 324 square foot area with one (1) inch thickness.)

2.  Determine the square footage of your bed.  For square or rectangular-shaped beds, multiply the width by the length.

3.  Multiply your square footage by the desired length and divide by 324 square feet.  This will tell you how many cubic yards you will need.

Mulch is sold by the cubic yard.   One (1) cubic yard= 100 square feet (with a 3″ thickness).

WHERE SHOULD YOU MULCH?

Applying mulch around new plantings is definitely a must.  It helps to conserve moisture in the root ball of a new plant until the roots have grown out into the surrounding soil.  And, because there is less competition for water and nutrients from weeds, the growth rate of newly planted trees and shrubs will increase.

Mulch entire beds of shrubs, trees, annuals, herbaceous perennials and ground covers.

Because dyed mulch is slower to breakdown compared to more natural ones, it should be applied in areas where there is less concern about plant growth.  If you want to accent the colors of plants adjacent to pathways, dyed mulch is a good choice.

WHERE SHOULD YOU NOT MULCH?

Whether you are mulching with a wood mulch, pine straw, gravel, stone, etc., always leave a minimum of six (6) inches around the exterior of your home.  Subterranean termites are found in every landscape in America.  These pesky termites travel under cover; the material you use to mulch provides the protection and moisture they need to find their way to your home’s framing.

Also, do not apply wood mulch directly against your home’s exterior.  Any kind of wood mulch can breed a nuisance mold known as “shotgun” or “artillery” fungus that will permanently stain a home’s exterior.

HOW TO APPLY MULCH

1.  Weed the area before applying any type of mulch.

2.  Spread a layer of mulch over the entire plant bed.

3.  Keep mulch two (2) to three (3) inches away from the stems of woody plants to prevent decay caused by wet mulch.

4.  Keep mulch six (6) to twelve (12) inches away from the walls of buildings to prevent termites from using it as a “bridge to cross” treated soil.

5.  Newly planted trees require a circle of mulch three (3) to four (4) feet in diameter.  Do NOT pile mulch against the trunk.