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  • Bartlett, IL
Asked on Oct 6, 2017

How do you mulch ground covers?

PJ WiseBarbCatherine Anspaugh


I'm redoing my garden area and I have some plants that have spread by runner on top of the ground. I do you mulch those areas ? Do you pull them up or spread the mulch on top and hope they come thru??!! HELP!!

8 answers
  • Gently lift any tendrils and snuggle the mulch in carefully.
  • I gently lift the ground cover plants a little off the ground with my hands and mulch underneath.
  • Carmen
    on Oct 6, 2017

    They will pop up from the mulch. I work for a landscaping company and when we apply mulch, the plants will come up in the spring without a problem. Mulch is actually good for your gardens. They hold in moisture so that you don't have to water your plants as much.
  • Flipturn
    on Oct 6, 2017

    If the object to putting down mulch is to reduce your work load in pulling out weeds, then go the extra step and put down landscaping fabric underneath the mulch first.
    It will be a one-time expense, and will greatly reduce the maintenance.
  • Cindy
    on Oct 6, 2017

    I agree with Flipturn7 about laying down weed fabric. Just cut the fabric to go around your plants. Then lay your mulch on top of that. Yes, you can gently lift your runners and put mulch under them. But it is really not necessary. Your plants will find their way thru the mulch in the Spring. Good luck.
  • Catherine Anspaugh
    on Oct 6, 2017

    You can absolutely mulch those areas. Just pull the runners up and mulch underneath them lay the runners back down on top.
  • Barb
    on Oct 6, 2017

    Dig up the soil using a 3 prong rake pull up the runners and then re mulch around the plant and the area.The runners may grow back on top of the mulch next year depending on the plant .
    Sounds like you have a trailing / runner plant of some kind that would be better in a hanging pot. If you don't want something that trails there plant bulbs it may be a better choice.
  • PJ Wise
    on Oct 6, 2017

    Per Roger Cook, Landscape Contractor, This Old House

    Take the mulch out of the wheelbarrow with your hands, a square shovel, a mulch fork, or a small bucket and lightly spread it to a depth of one inch. Don't put mulch on top of ground covers or spreading junipers, as mulch will limit their growth or even kill them. Never dump any kind of mulch onto the grass, or even onto a tarp on the grass — it will kill the lawn underneath if you don't remove it immediately. Remember that the purpose of mulch is to fill in bare spots in your beds, so the more ground cover and plants you put in the less mulching you'll have to do
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