Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Mulch


In 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!

Help Your Trees Thrive, Plant Them at the Right Time

Plant Your Trees at the Right Time

The question many people ask is, “When is the right time to plant trees?” In short, according to landscaping.com, if you live in an area with cold winters (like Nebraska), the ideal time to plant trees from a nursery is in late winter or early spring. If that doesn’t work for you, you should aim for fall. Never plant trees during the summer as the heat and lack of precipitation poses a great threat to young trees.

The weather also restricts your options in the winter. Cold temperatures cause the ground to freeze, which makes it difficult to dig the holes for your trees. There’s also the threat of heavy snow and blizzards in the winter, which has been apparent earlier this month. Heavy snow can cause damage to your trees, young and old. Unless you can water your young trees sufficiently, early-to-mid winter is not the best planting time.
Landscaping.com urges you to plant your trees during dormancy, when the tree’s growth has temporarily stopped. This is because, during dormancy, handling them is the least disruptive. Trees in the Northern Hemisphere typically fall dormant at some point in the fall and begin to “wake up” at some point in the spring.

When planting trees, you have to take into consideration if the tree is deciduous or evergreen. Deciduous trees lose their leaves every year, while their evergreen counterparts are, well, ever green. You can easily tell when deciduous trees go dormant, as they lose their leaves every fall, and when they begin to bud out as the weather gets warmer, that’s a sign they are leaving dormancy.

However, there is a little more leeway when planting evergreens. Evergreens may be planted earlier in the fall and later in the spring than deciduous trees. But, you’ll still want to avoid planting in the hot heat of the summer.

Remember the need for water

You know heat is a major enemy to your young trees, but the lack of water to their developing roots is another enemy! You may not think that winter is a “dry” season, but you should remember that the moisture from the snow isn’t able to reach the roots of the saplings until it melts and the ground thaws. This is why watering trees properly in the fall is very important, regardless of if you’ve decided to plant your young trees in the fall/late winter or early spring.

The team at Dudley’s Dew Right is here for you if you need our help! As spring begins to blossom, remember we offer a full service of landscaping needs. Contact us to get your spring landscaping plans into motion!