Mulch can be one of your best allies in your yard's flower and shrubbery beds if it is used regularly and correctly. Mulch can result in fewer weeds, better moisture management, and a nicer-looking landscape. The following can help answer some of your questions about mulch use and application.
Can mulch be laid over weeds?
Although you can lay mulch over weeds, the hardiest ones will survive and grow through the mulch. A better method is to pull the weeds from the bed as completely as possible before laying the mulch. A few weeds may still push through from seeds remaining in the soil, but most new seedlings will die before they can get through the mulch to the sunlight.
Is fabric or plastic necessary under mulch?
Weed cloth or plastic isn't necessary under mulch. It can be used in perennial flower beds, if desired, to further prevent weed growth. Avoid using it in beds you replant annually since constant replanting will destroy the cloth. Weed cloth is a better option that plastic simply because the cloth lasts longer and allows moisture to still seep through and to the plant roots.
Must one remove the old mulch when applying new?
You can remove the old mulch if you like, but there is really no need. As the bark or wood chips decompose, nutrients are added to the soil. One option is to till the old mulch into the soil before spreading the new, which will speed up the decomposition process. You can also spread the new mulch over the old, and then simply rake them together to create an even appearance.
How deep should mulch be spread?
As a general guideline, spread mulch to about a 3-inch depth for a spring or summer application. This mulch depth will conserve moisture and suppress most weeds. For a fall application, use up to 5 inches of mulch to provide some additional insulation for plant roots and crowns in the garden. Furthermore, the excess mulch will decompose a bit come early spring, so a deeper fall mulch layer means you won't have to reapply again after the winter.
Can mulch harm plants?
Mulch can harm desired plants if it is applied wrong. Pull back the mulch so that it doesn't rest directly against stems or trunks since this can lead to trapped moisture and rot. Also, never place mulch over the top of a desired plant.
Contact a company that offers residential mulch service for more help.
As a child and teenager, I watched my mother garden, although I wasn't interested in it at the time. I later learned that I had missed out on learning the craft because before I planted my first garden, I thought it would be so easy! Once I finally had a yard of my own, I was eager to plant some beautiful flowers in the yard and do other landscaping work. Unfortunately, I learned a hard lesson and none of things I planted survived more than a few weeks, even though I watered them daily. I gave my mother a call and asked her what could have gone wrong, and I learned that plants have to be chosen carefully. Check out this blog to learn more landscaping plant tips.