Do you like to have a neat yard that is not taken over by weeds?
Then you need to discover mulch. Mulch is an inexpensive way to make your yard look well manicured. It does a great job at controlling weeds and keeping plants well watered.
But there are certain techniques to mulching, and if you are someone that is new to homeownership, you may be unaware of how to properly mulch.
So we are going to cover all of the basics on how to correctly mulch. Here is the steps of how you go about it:
How To Mulch
1. Locate the Area You Want to be Mulched
Before you start mulching, you need to first decide what areas you’d like to mulch. Some people mulch entire yards. Other people will mulch flower beds. While some people just mulch around certain plants.
So you’ll need to decide what areas of your yard need mulch. In my experience, flower beds look great mulched. Walkways are great mulched. Mulching around trees and shrubs is always a great idea.
Also, mulching around your plants in your garden is a great idea as well as it helps them to retain moisture.
So once you have figured out what areas of your yard need mulch, then you are ready to move on to the next steps.
2. Trim the Mulching Area
You know where you want to apply the mulch, but you need to design the area first. I’ve literally mulched an entire backyard before. We had a bunch of above-ground planters in our yard.
So it was easier to mulch the whole yard than to try and mow around them. When we mulched an area that size, there wasn’t a lot of designing to it.
But if you are mulching smaller areas, like around shrubs, trees, or flower gardens, then you’ll need to design them.
For instance, if you have a garden bed up against the front of your house, many people line them with different items. You could use landscaping timbers, or you could use different edging designs like this.
Also, if you are mulching around a tree, it is a good idea to apply stones or some type of edging around the tree. Not only does it make your yard look neater, but it also helps to hold the mulch in place. This is an important step for that reason.
So you’ll want to look at where you want to apply the edging and figure out if you need a way to hold the mulch in place. If so, then you need to figure out the design you like to use to accomplish that.
3. Find Your Mulch
Now that you have the design in mind that you are going to try and create, you’ll need to have your edging in place.
But once that is done, you need to begin searching for your mulch. There are multiple ways to find mulch.
First, you can use old leaves and yard scraps as your mulch. Gather them in a pile and then place them where you want to mulch.
But if you like a more traditional style mulch you can also just go to the store and purchase some bags of it. You can also purchase mulch here.
Third, you can create your own mulch. You do this whenever you cut down a tree or anything that produces brush.
Once you’ve cut it down, you’ll need to run it through a wood chipper to create chips (or mulch.) You can go ahead and apply it directly to the area, or if you worry about the acid, then let it compost somewhere for a while before you apply it to your plants.
Finally, you can call up your local tree service and see if they will deliver a dump truck load of wood chips.
Again, if you worry about applying them directly to your plants and shrubs, then allow them to compost somewhere before application. This will save you a lot of money and give your yard a nice, finished look.
4. Get Your Tools Ready
Once you have your mulch and it is ready to go, it is time to get the tools out. Applying mulch to your yard looks wonderful, but it is hard work.
So you’ll need certain tools to help you accomplish the task.
First, you will need gloves. When you are spreading mulch, your hands will get blisters on them, especially if you are applying large amounts of it.
So do yourself a favor and protect your hands. You can purchase gloves like these to do the job.
Second, you will need a wheelbarrow to help you lug large amounts of mulch around your yard. It will save your back a lot of stress.
Personally, I have moved a lot of large amounts of mulch around our yard. I would’ve never gotten the job done without a great wheelbarrow.
So do yourself a favor and buy a wheelbarrow like this one to help you make this task a little easier.
Finally, you need a tool to spread your mulch. You can use a shovel, garden hoe, or my personal favorite which is a pitchfork. The pitchfork makes it easier to get large amounts of mulch from the pile to the wheelbarrow, and then from the wheelbarrow to the desired location.
Once you have these items, it is time to apply the mulch to your yard.
5. Spread the Mulch
You have your tools in place, your mulch in place, and your yard design laid out. All that is left is to fill everything in with the mulch.
Now, if you are mulching in a garden bed at the front of a home, then you may want to consider laying landscaping fabric. This is laid over the ground and then you cut little holes in the fabric where your plants are.
Then you’ll pull the plants through. This is so the weeds and grass cannot come up, but your plants still have access to the surface. I just recommend adding this so you don’t spend a lot of time pulling weeds.
But it is also important to make sure that you plant everything that you want in this area before laying the landscaping fabric because it is difficult to go back and add plants. We actually did this because we turned our front bed into the area for perennials.
Well, we didn’t do this until after we laid the landscaping fabric. I didn’t have as many weeds, but I did have more than if I had planted everything prior to laying the fabric.
Once this is done, you’ll begin throwing mulch on the areas. You want to make sure that the entire ground is covered completely.
Then I usually go back and add an additional second and third layer. The thicker the mulch, the harder it is for weeds to get through and the longer it takes the mulch to compost. This means you have to apply mulch less often.
So the more the better when you are doing the job. Just be sure that you don’t cover up any plants with the mulch, or you could kill them.
And that is all there is to applying mulch to your home. If you are applying mulch around plants, then you’ll want to pile it up around each plant. Be sure that fully cover the base of the stem as the mulch can protect the plants from dirt splatter which causes disease in plants.
However, if you are applying mulch to plants, be sure that you wait until the plant is rooted and thriving in the ground. You don’t want to suffocate the plant.
3 Mulch Ideas in Your Garden
Well, now that I’ve explained to you how to mulch, you may want a few ideas to get you started. Here are a few ways people have used mulch around their homes:
1. Around the Mailbox
This picture shows how they laid the landscaping fabric around the mailbox to stop any unwanted grasses or weeds from popping up.
Then they used landscaping bricks around the mailbox to help define and hold the mulch in place. It definitely brightens up the mailbox area.
2. The Mulched Walkway
This is a really neat walkway design. If you like to use stepping stones, then you could turn them like diamonds. It gives them a unique style.
Then finish the look by mulching around the stones. It gives your walkway a pleasant design.
3. The Mulched Front Garden Bed
This is a great mulched garden bed idea. They used landscaping bricks to outline the mulched area. Then they filled the area with beautiful plants as shown in the picture.
Finally, they completed the look by adding a darker mulch to the area. It really creates a clean look for the front of any home.
Now you know how to properly mulch your yard or garden. Plus, you have a few ideas of how you can use mulch to really brighten up your property as well.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to transform your home or garden this year.
But now I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you use mulch in your yard or garden? How do you go about applying it? Do you have any tips for those that may be new to mulching?
We love hearing from you so please leave us your thoughts in the comment box provided below.