When should I use mulch, and how much should I use?

Mulch is a great insulator and aids in water retention while helping to prevent weeds and unwanted growth. Mulch should be laid down in late spring once the ground has had a chance to warm up a bit.

You don’t want to lay it down too early, or it will slow down the warming process of the ground underneath. In the spring, avoid laying down too much mulch around your decorative garden beds, as the seedlings in your garden have started to grow, and a thick layer of mulch can be hard to push through. You can always add more mulch later! Adding another thin layer in the fall will help insulate your plants against the cold.

The amount of mulch that you apply depends on the variety of mulch you wish to use and the purpose of the mulch. Good coverage can be achieved by using 3-4 inches of mulch, but if you are using our medium sized nuggets, you may want to use more to avoid seeing any gaps in the mulch. Mulching around plants in a vegetable garden will require less mulch than a larger garden bed or trees.

Keep in mind that you also want to take into consideration where you are laying the mulch. We suggest using a heavier product on high slopes or windy areas to make the installation and maintenance more manageable. We find that customers in the windy Bearspaw area tend to choose Douglas Fir Premium Mulch or Medium Nuggets, as they are more weighty and can withstand the wind here in this region a little better than a finely shred mulch. Ultimately though, it comes down to your personal preference.

Remember, when laying mulch around trees, you want to extend the mulch to the drip line of the trees, and NEVER pile it up against the tree trunk. These ‘mulch volcanoes’ are detrimental to proper tree growth, as they can rot the tree trunk and invite unwanted guests to burrow in there. In addition to disease and pests, this thick layer of mulch can even dry the soil around the root ball by preventing water from reaching the soil, and this in turn can cause the root system of the tree to not grow properly, preventing proper stability. With trees, the spread of the mulch is more important than the depth!

Mulching is messy work. We can help you keep your hands clean and take a load off your back. From work gloves to rakes to the best wheelbarrows around, we’ve got you covered. Stop by our store today and take a look at the tools and supplies we carry.

Shop online or contact us today to order mulch for your upcoming projects.