How to Mulch
Graphic by Michaela Parker
If you are planning your spring garden chores, mulching is likely on your list. But you may not know that there is a right and wrong way to apply mulch.
Mulch is important to the health of your landscape. When it is applied properly it helps hold moisture in the soil, prevents weed growth, regulates soil temperature, and protects the trunks of trees and shrubs from lawn equipment.
But when mulch is applied incorrectly, it can harm your plants. A common example of harmful mulch application is the mulch volcanoes you see around trees.
When applying mulch around trees and shrubs in the lawn, don’t mound it up around the trunk. You want it to be 3 to 4 inches deep and extend from the trunk 3 to 6 feet around the entire tree. Don’t allow the mulch to touch the trunk. Pull the mulch 2 to 3 inches away from the trunk to prevent problems, including disease and rodent damage.
Extension publication 2301, “Mulches for the Landscape” provides more information about how to mulch, the different types of mulch and how to calculate the amount of mulch you need.
Wondering what you should be doing in your landscape right now? Here are Four Gardening Tasks for January that you’ll be glad you did.
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