Mulch is a critical component of landscaping and gardening. It makes garden beds look clean and crisp while providing vital nutrients to the plants below. In order for mulch to reach its full effect, it needs to be properly installed and maintained. Check out these mulching tips from the professional gardeners here at Berns Landscaping.
Don’t Put Landscaping Fabric under Mulch
One of the biggest mulching mistakes we see homeowners make is installing landscaping fabric underneath a mulch bed. What seems like a good way to keep weeds to a minimum is actually a recipe for disaster. Landscape fabric prevents soil cultivation and may lead to a weak root structure. We’ve also seen plenty of weeds pop through the fabric, and they can be a hassle to pull out at that point.
A thick mulch bed can suffocate the weeds while still allowing the organic material to sink into the soil. That is a much more effective approach, and it looks better in the end.
Remove Mulch in Spring and Cultivate the Soil Below
It’s important to re-mulch the entire garden bed at least once per year. This exposes the soil so you can cultivate it, and it gets rid of the old organic matter to make room for the new. If you want to change mulch colors or make adjustments to plant placement, this is a great time to do so. We typically re-mulch in the spring so the garden can look its best when the plants bloom.
Add a Thick Mulch Bed for Weed Control
The thickness of your mulch bed should depend on several factors, including the root structure of your plants and how tall those plants sit off the ground. Ideally, you should strive for a four inch mulch bed because that amount of mulch will suffocate the weeds below. Weeds cannot access the sun and rain they need to thrive. Thus they never have a chance to break the surface.
You may be wondering, “Can I put mulch over weeds to kill them?” Ideally, the weeds should be pulled out before new mulch is installed for the sake of caution. It is possible to kill weeds with a thick mulch bed, but you’re much better off getting rid of them, then preventing future weeds from forming.
Top-Off the Mulch throughout the Growing Season
Most forms of mulch break down throughout the year. This feeds the soil and the roots below, but it also lowers the height of the mulch bed. To combat this issue, we recommend topping off the mulch 6-10 times throughout the growing season. We do mulch top-offs as part of our landscaping maintenance programs.
Get Professional Mulching Services from Berns Landscaping
Don’t have time to mess with mulch? Not sure which mulch is right for your property? Turn the work over to the mulching experts here at Berns Landscaping. We have specialists in every area of lawn and garden care, from fertilization to horticulture to tree services and beyond. Give us a call at (586) 756-1145 to get a quote for a residential landscaping, commercial landscaping or estate gardening.