Pick the right mulch for you then spread an even layer around your garden. Replace it every few years and your garden will thrive.
Before you apply mulch, you have pick and purchase the right mulch. To figure out the right variety for your purposes, ask yourself what you need the mulch to do. Do you need to control weeds? Are you covering a pathway? Do you need moisture control? Some mulch specializes in one area or the other. For instance, if you want something that will naturally degrade, you should consider bark, leaves or woodchips. If you want a different aesthetic or longer lasting material, try rock or glass. Depending on how permeable you want your garden floor to be, you might need a layer of sheeting to deter weeds and watering. Choose what is best for you then follow these tips on how to apply mulch.
Begin with preparing the designated area. Remove all weeds either by hand or with a weed-wacker. The mulch will naturally discourage future weeds as it blocks the sunlight. Perform a soil test on your garden if you plan to enrich the topsoil. If you plan to use a landscape fabric or plastic, now is the time to lay it down, cut it and secure it. Be sure to outline the edge of mulch area. Measure this area to figure out how many cubic feet of mulch you need. Account for a fairly thick layer of material.
The average thickness of a garden bed will be about two to four inches of traditional woodchip mulch. This width will encourage water retention while simultaneously prevent weed growth. Use a rake to spread an even layer over the entire space. If you plan on planting something, either leave the space uncovered or plant before spreading the mulch. For those who choose the former, save excess mulch to cover the area after you are done. Avoid crowding the stems of plants or tree trunks. Allow four to six inches of space for breathing room.
Conventional mulch is meant to naturally degrade which makes it environmentally friendly and great for garden soil. However, this does mean regular seasonal maintenance to keep your garden in top shape. For example, you can prune a plant before winter and then cover it to provide insulation. Remove insulation layers come spring and replace the entire area regularly. This can be done every few years or months depending on the climate. You can churn the soil to incorporate the decaying matter into the topsoil and then spread fresh mulch over the old area. This will help keep your garden thriving. To learn more about mulch in San Jose, please visit this website.