How To Put Down Mulch

Date: 9 Feb 2013

Mulch is one of the quickest and easiest ways to transform your yard or flowerbeds. Although putting down mulch isn’t rocket science, there are probably a few tips and tricks you weren’t aware of.

Why use Mulch?

Mulch is nature’s miracle when it comes to reducing water usage and discouraging weeds. It makes flower beds look tidy and professional and makes maintenance a snap.

It can also be used in decorative installations, for instance around a patio or fountain. If these are places you want to discourage living plants from, you can use decorative gravel or stone mulch as well (if you use it around plants, over a long period of time it will become very difficult to maintain, as the gravel will inevitably mix with the soil whenever it’s disturbed.)

However, using gravel mulches in walkways, for instance, is cheaper and easier to maintain than some other materials, and still reduces water erosion while looking good.

Putting Down Bark Mulch

Bark mulch is by far the most common mulch to use, as it breaks down more slowly than leaves, the other common mulch material.

Mulch is usually delivered by dump truck in bulk, but you can get it in bags as well. The dump truck driver will usually try to deliver it as close to the worksite as he can, but be prepared to use wheelbarrows and buckets to put it where you need it.

If your primary aim is weed control, you’ll want to make sure all the weeds are out of the bed before you begin (a weedwhacker is fine). Then layer the mulch thickly– 6-8 inches for best effect.

Do not, however, allow the mulch to rest against the stems or stalks of your desirable plants. The same moisture-retaining properties of mulch may cause fungus growth on those plant. The only exception is that over the winter you may cover over some perennials to insulate them from the cold.

Your mulch will have to be refreshed or replaced every couple of years, as it will slowly break down and return to the soil. But your garden will thank you for your efforts!

For all your mulching needs, give us a call at 703-352-1858 or email at

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