This year I have spent more time mulching than I ever have. Mulching helps to retain moisture in the soil and reduces weeds. It adds nutrients back to the soil as it breaks down and it really makes for a clean attractive garden after it is down. In the Midwest, people mulch their gardens with mulch made from shredded hardwood, cypress, pine or cedar. Mulch can be purchased in colors from black, dark brown, gold or red depending on your personal taste. If you want to mulch your garden and have a professional look after you are done, here are some simple rules to follow.
- Cut your grass before mulching. Many people fertilize and the grass grows tall and hides the edges and lines of the garden beds.
- Edge the garden beds to give them a clean crisp look.
- Clean up the beds by raking out old leaves, trash, and shrub clippings. Cut back last years dead perennials. If your shrubs need or can be pruned, now would be a good time.
- Remove all weeds from the garden beds. You may want to add fertilizer or weed preventer in the beds before mulching.
- Mulch the beds. I prefer to use a nice dark hardwood mulch at 1 to 2 inches deep in my garden beds. The color looks more natural and it shows off the plant colors far more. Keep the mulch away from stems, crowns and branches of plants. Never do volcano mulching around the trunk of your trees. Volcano mulching will damage your trees over time. You can buy mulch in bags of 2 to 3 cubic foot or buy it in bulk where it is sold by the cubic yard and delivered to your home. It you have not started your spring clean up and mulching, now is the time. Have a great gardening season!
The Creative Gardener