Tips for Applying Mulch!

Landscape 2 days ago
We will have 3 yards of mushroom compost delivered this week. When I begin filling my first wheelbarrow, I will think about the mulching techniques I have learned from many and various gardeners over the past 10 years...

What I have learned so far:

1. This is a lot of work! So make it count for double the time & money: add nutrients while you mulch.

2. Apply it 2-3 inches deep to suppress weeds for the growing season. You still may get some, but usually they are easier to pull out of the loose mulch than the firm soil.

3. Make sure to leave your plants some wiggle room. Apply the mulch deeply, but leave it at least one inch away from the crown of the plant. Leave 2-3 inches of space all around tree trunks.

4. Do not apply hot compost (meaning mushroom compost or other nutrient rich sources) to woodland (e.g. ferns) or silver-leaved plants (lavender).

Cost: $80 Difficulty: Easy

To see more:

  • Michelle W
    Michelle W Oceanside, CA
    For mulch, compost, etc... see if your local Ag Services or compost facility has product available. It is often inexpensive and sometimes they have delivery as well. Here in Southern California we have:
  • Kathleen Brady
    I like to use cedar mulch around house area . It helps keep out and away fleas and bugs ,spiders etc.
  • Pinky S
    Pinky S Avondale, PA
    Funny, we have used 30 yards of mulch at a time!!! It is delivered in a truck like a tractor trailer!!!
  • Dyanne
    Dyanne Phenix City, AL
    Thanks to everyone for the info. I just love the "hometalk" site! I have learned soooooo much on anything I do in gardening, home improvement, decorating inside & outside, do it yourself projects, cost cutting techniques, etc. the list goes on & on.
  • Donna
    Donna Oklahoma City, OK
    several helpful tips. I will be using a layer of newspaper next week as I prep my above ground garden beds then compost before planting my veggies hoping for a better producing crop this year as the last few haven't done so well here in drought land
  • Dawn Carr
    Dawn Carr Saugatuck, MI
    I have learned over the years to make sure your mulch is local. The guy who shows up in the neighborhood selling it door to door could be bringing mulch from areas with flood damage so you might have mold spores, and bugs from other states in your mulch.
  • Gerri
    Gerri Davison, MI
    When the wind blows their goes my much of that kind.
  • Anita H
    Anita H Niceville, FL
    Dianne F, we had those horrible stinkhorns too! Tons of them. And i mean tons! It was like aliens had landed in the back yard! We dug them all up in hopes to minimize more and carefully tied them up in trash bags. We hadn't seems any for awhile but then
  • Penster47
    Penster47 Verona, MO
    We had a tree service hired by the town to go around and top off trees that were likely to be in the power lines. I lucked out and asked one of the trucks if he would mind dumping one load in my back yard. They were more than happy because it saved them
  • Kat
    Kat Canada
    Julie, I agree you can not replace the use of compost but wood chips really do have there place too. Nitrogen depletion only becomes a problem when fresh green woody material is mixed into the soil. Spreading it on top of the soil will require more time
  • Betty W
    Betty W Shelbyville, KY
    I use wet newspapers before mulching. It helps stop weeds and water I nutrients get through.

  • Madeline M
    Madeline M Newport News, VA
    Thanks for all the great hints! Would you believe that my doctor doesn't believe that moving serveral truckloads of mulch is exercise?!
  • Julie @ Wife, Mother, Gardener
    Madeline - I think you should suggest to your doctor that he get out of his office and try it! :) Gardening has been found to be one of the best activities for overall health. The weight bearing & continuous movement of gardening is especially good for
  • Mary Ann Miron
    Mary Ann Miron Hempstead, TX
    Love mushroom compost! For those that have never used it, make sure you let it sit for a week otherwise it will burn your plants! If there is grass with seeds under your compost when you first put it down, the "burn" may cause the seeds to dry and then
  • Valerie
    Valerie South Africa
    Your compost looks so wonderfully rich! Thanks for sharing your great advice.
Julie @ Wife, Mother, Gardener