Proper Mulching Techniques
Mulching - for many, it's the bane of their springtime existence, but at Miko, it's something in which we take great pride. Many people find mulching difficult or tedious. Admittedly, doing it well can be a challenge. However, with a few simple tips, you can mulch like a professional in no time. Here are some proper mulching techniques that will help you mulch like a professional.
Before Mulching Begins ...Before any new mulch goes on the ground, there are several important steps to ensure the mulch will have its desired effect.
- Kill weeds: Whether you pull them all, spray to get rid of them, or a combination of the two - mulch is most effective when the weeds are gone
- Loosen existing mulch: Ideally, all existing mulch would be "turned over" completely, but if this is not possible, at least take a rake to loosen whatever mulch is there - this helps with drainage in the long run
- Remove unwanted junk: The best time to get find that lost wiffle ball or other yard toy is right before you mulch, so you don't mulch over it -- make sure the bed is as clean as possible
No Mulch Volcanoes!
So many times, people will be mulching around a tree, and they'll slope the mulch up, forming a dome, or what we like to call a "mulch volcano". Don't create a mulch volcano! An overabundance of mulch will negate many of its positive effects. Too much mulch can cause the wood to rot, as the trunk of the tree will be wet all of the time. Also, a mulch volcano can create a habitat for unwanted critters - rodents and such - to live and feed off the tree. Instead of using a mulch volcano, taper the mulch off as you approach the tree - in other words, slope the other direction. There doesn't need to be a clear delineation, but as you approach the tree, you want less mulch, as shown in the diagram above.
Mulch Wide, Not Deep
As alluded to earlier, too much depth in your mulching is not good - again, it can counter some of the numerous positive effects of good mulching. Deep mulch can create an environment conducive to runoff, as it loses its porosity - water won't be able to get through, which can lead to some parched plants. A depth of 3" is almost always enough mulch; never exceed 4". It is better to have a larger swath of shallower mulch than a pile of deep mulch.
Finish the Job and Maintain the Mulch
After completing a mulching job, make sure to apply the finishing touches that turn mediocre mulching into magnificent mulching. Sweep excess mulch from paved surfaces, make sure that no mulch is covering storm drains or otherwise obstructing anything important like an air conditioner, and give your work a final check to make sure it follows proper mulching techniques. Also, continue to water your mulch so it stays fresh on a regular basis - don't rely on rain alone.
Mulch Like a Professional
If mulching was easy, everyone's landscape would look immaculate. Luckily, by following those easy tips to mulch like a professional, yours can! And remember, if you ever have any questions, call Miko Lawn and Landscape at 717-629-0936. Miko is as experienced as they come when it comes to mulching and all of your landscape needs. Happy mulching!
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