How to Mulch and When to Mulch

How to Mulch: Tips and Techniques for a Beautiful Garden

Mulching your garden is a crucial step in maintaining its health and aesthetics. However, knowing how to mulch effectively can sometimes be a challenging task. Here at Centenary Landscaping Supplies, we have a huge range of bark and mulch so you’re certain to find something you love, that perfect addition to your garden. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to achieve excellent results without much hassle.

Tools You’ll Need: Before we dive into the details, let’s take a look at the essential tools for the job. To mulch efficiently, you’ll typically require the following items: a wide shovel, a wheelbarrow, a garden fork, and a plastic rubbish bin. If you’re purchasing mulch in bulk (several cubic meters), you can even utilize a wheelie bin to transport it conveniently.

Using a Mulch Mat: To prevent weeds from permeating through the mulch, it’s a good idea to lay down a “mulch mat” or a weed-stop porous material. This step becomes particularly important if you’re not planning to make the mulch layer at least 10cm thick. However, it’s crucial to avoid using black plastic for this purpose, as it can negatively impact the soil and plant roots, hindering moisture absorption and potentially harming your plants. Furthermore, removing the plastic during future garden renovations can be a laborious and time-consuming task.

Mulching a New Garden: When building a new garden and you’ve installed or shoveled the topsoil without any plants, you’ll need to consider the size of the plants and the coarseness of the mulch. For finer mulch types, you can spread it around the plants after they’re planted. This rule generally applies to mulching existing gardens, regardless of the mulch’s coarseness.

Determining the Amount of Mulch Needed: A general rule of thumb is that one cubic meter of mulch will cover 10m2 to a depth of 10cm, which is the recommended thickness. This recommendation isn’t made to sell you more mulch, but rather to ensure that it effectively performs its intended function and protects your valuable plants. Additionally, investing in the proper amount of mulch will save you money in the long run. However, if your garden is densely planted, reducing the surface area that needs to be covered, you’ll require less mulch.

Effective Mulch Application: One of the most challenging aspects of mulching is handling and spreading the mulch onto your garden and around the plants. The difficulty level varies depending on the texture of the chosen landscape mulch. Here are some techniques to consider:

  1. Use a garden fork: If the mulch is coarse, using a garden fork can make it easier to dig into and pick up. You’ll be able to collect a substantial volume of mulch with each scoop and distribute it over the garden. This method works well with materials like Hoop Bark, Plantation Fines, Forest Ground Cover, and Tea Tree Mulch.
  2. Use a plastic rubbish bin or bucket: For any type of mulch, you can scrape it into a plastic rubbish bin or a large bucket and then distribute it over the garden. Simply scoop it up in your hands and gently “sprinkle” it over the desired areas.
  3. Stick to the traditional shovel: The good old shovel method works particularly well with pine barks and wood chips. Experiment with different techniques and find the one that suits you best.

When to Mulch: Mulching your garden is a year-long activity in Queensland, so there is no hard and fast rule for when to mulch. However, spring is a popular time for people to get out into their gardens and freshen them up. Mulching during this season not only contributes to the garden’s aesthetics but also helps with moisture retention and weed suppression.

It’s important to note that when spreading mulch, it’s a good practice to consider fertilizing the soil first. Use a fork or a similar garden implement to loosen the topsoil before applying fertilizer. Additionally, make sure to water the area thoroughly before distributing the landscape mulch over the garden.

Remember, during the summer months, it’s vital to ensure that your garden has an ample amount of mulch. The recommended depth is 10cm (or 4 inches) to provide adequate protection and moisture retention for your plants.

By following these tips and techniques, you’ll be well-equipped to mulch your garden effectively and maintain its health and beauty throughout the year.

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