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Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Mulch

landscapingIn just a few short months, it will be time to get outside and get our yards ready for summer. Have you considered mulching your yard? It is an instant way to enhance the look of your yard, but you want to make sure you do it correctly.

Here are a few tips to follow to avoid common mistakes, with help from EfficientLawns.com:

 

  • Don’t put fabric or plastic under your mulch. If you already have some down, make sure you remove it before adding a new layer of mulch. Since mulch is biodegradable, it is suppose to become compost in the soil. When you place these weed barriers down, the compost process is disrupted and, instead, end up with a thick layer of compost where weeds can easily germinate. This, in time, also causes mulch to build up and begin to choke out plants.

 

  • Don’t apply your mulch too thick. We’ve all heard that too much of a good thing is not a good thing. That definitely applies to mulch installation, as well. Three to four inches of mulch is perfect. If your mulch is too thick, than water can’t get to the soil. The purpose of mulch is to hold moisture for your plants, not prevent it. Thick mulch also encourages visits from unwanted insects and rodents, and also can produce mold. When you have the correct amount of mulch, healthy insects will love it, and it will not increase mold or mildew. Lastly, mulch doesn’t break down fast. That means, if you add more mulch every year, make sure to only top dress and watch the thickness. If your mulch is getting too thick, it’s okay to skip a year, or you can remove some of the old mulch before adding the new layer.

 

  • Select the right color of mulch for your home. Just because the house across the street looks good with natural mulch doesn’t mean your house will. Dudley’s Dew Right offers a variety of mulch colors, including black, coffee brown, natural, dark brown and red. Come see us to see what color of mulch will look perfect with your home.

 

  • Skip the wood chips. EfficientLawns.com says it best: Wood chips are not a mulch. They are more similar to stone. Wood chips don’t retain water or prevent weeds. If you like the look of wood chips, the website encourages a good weed barrier and to treat them like you would stone.

 

  • Don’t go cheap. Your mulch shouldn’t look like dirt. You want it to aid in the appearance of your landscape, not hinder it. Colored mulches are encouraged because they keep their bright colors longer and decay a little slower. This means you can apply them every other year, or just add a little bit to thin spots.

 

  • Don’t buy bagged mulch. Your best bet is to purchase your mulch by the yard, unless you’ve only got a small amount to apply. Give us a call today to talk about our mulching services. Dudley’s uses a 40 cubic yard Express Mulch Blower with a 500 foot hose to make mulch application easy. Our blower allows for a cleaner application, consistent and even mulch installation, minimal landscape disturbance, and reduces the time we spend on your property. Contact us to get a jumpstart on gardening season!

2 Comments

  1. Helen on August 3, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    I really appreciate your point about leaving the wood chips out because I never understood why people thought they were so necessary. It is okay to use wood chips for aesthetics, and we could probably argue that it provides a good cover so the mulch underneath stays wet longer. For providing more nutrients to the plants, stick to the advice given here and load up your mulch with stuff that will make your plants stronger.

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