Mulch is an excellent tool for improving the quality of your garden or yard. In addition, some forms of mulch can also improve the aesthetic of your yard. As spring gets nearer, now’s the time to figure out the amount and type of mulch you should use.
How Much Mulch Do I Need
Determining how much mulch you need is nothing more than length x width. First, measure your yard, garden bed, or the area surrounding the tree you wish to mulch. Multiply the length and width and round up to the nearest whole foot. Once you have the square footage, you’ll need to decide how thick a layer of mulch you want to put down. For most flower beds, two to three inches will suffice. If you have a coarser material, like bark chips, or you want to suppress weed growth, aim for six inches. Multiply the square footage of the area you wish to cover by how thick a layer you want. For example, a 25′ x 25′ yard is 625 square feet. 625 x 2 = 1,250 hundred square feet. Now divide this number by 324 since 1 cubic yard of mulch will cover 324 square feet 1 inch deep. So in this example, 1,250 divided by 324 is 3.85. Rounding up to the nearest whole number, you would need 4 cubic yards of mulch. You can buy bagged mulch, but the easier option is to enlist a landscaping company to do the transporting and installation for you.
What Does Mulch Do
Once you know how much mulch you’ll need, you need to determine what kind of mulch is best for your yard. There are two kinds of mulch: organic and inorganic. Inorganic mulch is made from things like recycled tires. This type is purely decorative and won’t nourish your plants. However, it does last considerably longer than organic options. Be sure to discuss your needs with a lawn care professional, who will help you decide which is best for your situation.
Organic mulch benefits your yard in a variety of ways.
- Nutrients – Mulching adds nutrients to replenish your soil.
- Moisture – Plants need help retaining moisture against harsh winter winds and summer sun
- Weed Control – Weeds need lots of direct sunlight, which mulch blocks, thus preventing weed growth.
- Curb Appeal – Adding mulch to flower beds can improve your home’s appearance
Types Of Mulch
Not only are these decorative, but they’re also great for suppressing weeds and grass growth in areas like flower beds. Wood chips aren’t ideal for veggies, so keep this in mind if you intend to mulch a vegetable garden.
If you’ve got a tree or two, you’re in luck! Mow your lawn with the bag attached, and you’ve got yourself free mulch! If you don’t have a mower with a bag attachment, consider buying a mulcher that fits over a garbage bin. You’ll want to shred the leaves into smaller pieces so they can work into the soil. Letting too thick of a leaf layer sit on top of the soil can lead to root rot.
Possibly the best thing you can do for your veggie garden. It’s also easy to come by, like leaves. However, it doesn’t look very aesthetic, so if the exterior design is important to you, keep that in mind.
Composting your kitchen scraps is an excellent way to create free mulch. Keep in mind that compost tends to be on the dryer side, which isn’t ideal for plant roots. If you opt for compost, sprinkle a light layer over the soil and make sure to work it into the existing soil with a hand cultivator and keep it watered.
Straw or Hay
A layer of straw or hay creates a crisp look for your vegetable or flower bed. It’s great at retaining moisture as well, which means you won’t have to water as often. Just be sure the plants you surround this mulch with will tolerate a wetter environment.
How to Mulch
First, make sure you’ve weeded the area. Laying down mulch on top of existing weeds defeats the purpose. Second, spread the mulch around with a trowel, rake, or hand cultivator to ensure an even layer. For mulching around trees, leave a five-inch ring around the tree’s base and then mulch in a circle. This circle can be as wide as you’d like, but make sure not to have a very thick layer or a mulch volcano as it will harm the tree’s roots.
Get Professionally Installed Mulch From Griffin Organics
The experts at Griffin Organics are standing by to help you! As part of our additional services, we offer mulch delivery and installation to give your lawn, flower beds, or trees and shrubs a boost. Next, we’ll offer recommendations on which mulch is ideal for your yard and implement a care program to keep your lawn pristine year-round. Call 914-788-9622 or contact us online today! And for more tips on lawn and tree care, be sure to check out our blog and like us on Facebook!