Thursday, April 5, 2018

Preparing Your Landscape for Garden Mulch


You can add 7 percent to 14 percent to your home’s value with a well-designed landscape. Adding mulch is an inexpensive, yet efficient way to spruce up your flower beds and walkways. But before you put down mulch in your yard, there are some tasks that need to be completed.

9 steps to prepare your landscape and flower beds for mulch.

1. Kill weeds in your landscape
Before adding mulch and embarking on your garden landscaping ideas, it's important to eliminate all unwanted plants and weed growth. Pulling up and removing unwanted plants is a simple and efficient natural weed killer. Another method for how to kill weeds is to spray them with an herbicide one to two weeks prior to mulching. This will allow the weeds to completely die.

2. Trim trees and bushes in your yard
It is best to trim nearby trees and bushes before mulching, and clean beneath them, because of the debris they create.

3. Clean out your garden beds
Use a rake to remove dead leaves, weeds, and trimmings.

4. Cultivate your landscaping beds
After your beds have been cleaned, cultivate any compacted soil or mulch. A rototiller or hand cultivator will do the job. Cultivating allows moisture and air to pass through the soil more easily.

5. Edge landscape beds before adding garden mulch
Creating a clean edge really enhances your landscape and gives it a professional look. An edging shovel or power edger can be used to create your edge.

6. Before you mulch your landscape, rake the area smooth
Using a stiff rake, such as a mud rake, smooth out all the surfaces to be mulched. Otherwise, your mulched flower beds or may look lumpy. This also allows the mulch an even depth, 2" is generally advised for moisture retention.

7. Apply a pre-emergent to prevent weeds
Apply a pre-emergent, such as Preen, to prevent germination of weed seeds.

8. It’s time to mulch your landscape and flower beds
Using your hands or a rake, apply new mulch over the existing cultivated mulch or soil. RRR Lawn & Landscape suggests a layer of mulch 2 inches (but no more than 3) thick.  Moisturize mulch and help it settle into place with water when you are finished.

9. Mulch maintenance
Once a month or so, check your mulch for compaction. If compacted, use a garden claw, rake or cultivator to loosen it. This will allow water and air to pass, which helps prevent the growth of fungus and restores its appearance.

If this all sounds like a bigger DIY project than you wish, give us a call today and schedule a Free Consultation, 616-893-5765 or complete our Contact Form.

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