Four Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Mulch This Spring

spring mulch and gardening wheelbarrow 300x200Last time, we covered “Four Tips for Using Garden Mulch Wisely This Spring”. This time we move from the garden to general landscaping. We’ll show how a time-tested multitasker, landscape mulch is a popular pick with professional and amateur landscapers for a multitude of reasons. After all, using it is a fantastic way to protect the soil, enhance the health of your plants, control weeds and add aesthetic appeal to your outdoor spaces without a lot of effort or expense. How can you get the most out of your mulch this spring? Here are four tips to show you:

1. Prepare to Mulch

While adding mulch is a quick way to bring an orderly look to your landscaping, a little prep work is necessary if you want to achieve the best results. Before spreading a new layer of mulch, trim nearby trees and shrubs, deal with any existing weeds and unwanted growth, and clean out the landscaping bed. Then, use a rake to level out the area. In addition, you may want to consider edging the bed to create a neat, trim line between the bed and its surroundings. Laying the groundwork before you add any mulch to the picture makes it easy to get a neat, smooth application and minimizes the need for future maintenance.

2. Choose Color

Flowers are far from the only way to add a pop of color and style to your outdoor living spaces. Mulch is available in various rich shades of red, brown, black and gold and several different textures, and it delivers a striking contrast to grass that helps to draw the eye to your landscaping. With so many options to choose from, finding a landscape mulch that is both practical and beautiful is a cinch.

3. Apply Landscape Mulch Properly

When used properly, mulch offers several practical benefits. It reduces soil erosion, conserves moisture, prevents runoff, hampers weed growth and protects tender roots. Applying too little mulch means that you won’t enjoy the full benefits of the product. Applying too much is wasteful and could create a hiding place for pests. To get the most out of your mulch, be sure to apply it properly. Spread mulch evenly in a layer that is 2-3 inches deep. If necessary, remove some old mulch before applying a new layer to maintain the appropriate thickness. To avoid issues with rot, take care to avoid piling it up against tree trunks, plant stems or foundations.

4. Use Only Quality Landscape Mulch

Price and value are related concepts, but they are not the same thing. Settling for a bargain mulch may keep the initial price of your project lower, but it can be a costly mistake. Some mulches are contaminated with weed seeds and other undesirable components. Others use problematic dyes or materials. To avoid these headaches, don’t let price be the determining factor in your mulch purchase. Instead, choose quality. Get your mulch from an established company with a reputation for providing top-quality landscaping products and excellent customer service.

With southeast Wisconsin’s largest selection of mulch and bark, The Melvin Mulch Company is ready to be your source for landscape mulch in Milwaukee. Whether you’re searching for shredded hardwood mulches, prefer the texture of wood chip mulches or have your heart set on environmentally friendly dyed mulches, you’ll find the ideal product for your needs in our inventory. To explore the possibilities, call us today at 414-856-9077, or visit our mulch yard, we’re just south of the Milwaukee airport.

Four Tips for Using Garden Mulch Wisely This Spring

flowers need spring garden mulch 300x200Spring is an amazing time for spending hours in your garden. After many months spent cooped up in your house throughout the long winter months in Wisconsin, now is the time that you can finally enjoy some fresh air, bright sunlight and some dirt under your fingernails. While early spring may not be the right time for planting many of your new seeds and bulbs or transplanting your perennials or vegetables into your garden, it is the right time to get the garden ready for what is to come.

Although mulch is certainly not the prettiest thing in your garden, it serves a vital role of covering delicate plant roots, keeping weeds at bay, adding organic matter to the soil and keeping moisture in during the drier periods that are sure to happen during the summer. These four tips will help you know just what you should do with the old mulch that may still be layered over your garden from last year and how you should use new garden mulch this spring.

1. Stir up the Old Mulch

Early in the spring, such as in late March or early April, head out to your garden to see how the old mulch is faring. Walk carefully because it is possible that perennials are already beginning to poke their heads out for the year. During this time, you will want to see how moist the soil is beneath the mulch. Your garden is not yet ready to be newly mulched until the old mulch has begun drying out a bit.

2. Wait for Warmth

In addition, you will want to wait for the soil beneath the old mulch to warm. If you apply new mulch before the soil is warm and dry, you could be trapping the cold winter temperatures in the soil, causing your garden planting schedule to be delayed. Try stirring up the old mulch gently to let it dry.

3. Strip the Old Mulch

Once the weather has warmed up and your garden has dried out more, you can dedicate more of your time to playing in the soil. Start by stripping away as much of the old mulch as you can. This will help your perennials and bulbs that are already in place to feel the warmth of the sun and to burst forth.

4. Choose the Right New Mulch

Now that your garden has been transformed with a fresh surface, you can apply new mulch. At least one inch of fresh mulch should be laid down every year. However, if you are using mulch specifically to keep weeds away, you will want to lay a much heavier layer of at least four inches. Organic mulch, such as that made from wood chips, creates healthier soil as it decomposes. Consider double-shredded oak bark or a general hardwood mulch.

Garden mulch does much more than simply create a great scent and a fresh, clean look for your garden. It can also be a nourishing, protecting product to make your garden produce better looking fruits, vegetables and flowers. Be sure to stir up your old mulch early this spring to prepare for a fresh application by May.

An experienced garden mulch dealer can help you to make smart choices for your spring garden. Call your local mulch supplier at 414-856-9077

See also “Four Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Mulch This Spring

Why Mulch in the Winter?

snow covered plants 300x194Gardeners know why they mulch in the growing season. Mulch keeps the ground cool during the hot months, helps retain moisture and smothers weeds. As organic mulch breaks down, it puts nutrients into the soil. But why would anyone mulch around a plant or tree during the winter when nothing much is happening? Here are some reasons:

Protection From the Weather

People mulch in the winter for much the same reason they mulch in spring and summer. The mulch protects the roots of the plant from the weather. Mulch regulates the temperature of the soil during the winter and prevents frost heaving. This is when the soil freezes and thaws and actually lifts the top of the roots out of the ground. This exposes them to frost, which can kill the plant even if the rest of the plant can stand a bit of frost. If the area gets a lot of rain in the winter, mulch keeps the soil from being washed away. Mulch also keeps a plant dormant by keeping the ground cold during a warm snap. Mulch applied in late winter also stops weed seeds from sprouting in the spring. Continue reading

Landscaping With Mulch vs. Stone

hardwood bark mulch hand 300x200The Midwest experiences a range of seasons throughout the year. By the time the summer and fall comes around, the outdoor landscape has gone through substantial weathering due to temperature and precipitation. If a property was built on a foundation like clay, the grass may be under water during rainy parts of the year, or the substantial rain we just had. Deciding on whether to use wood mulch or stone for landscaping largely depends on the goals for the end result and the nature of the property. Continue reading

Using Mulch to Save Water in Home Landscaping

sprinkler watering the grass 300x225Landscaping and gardening around your home is a wonderful way to improve its aesthetic appeal. Unfortunately, there is often a lot of maintenance required to keep plants, trees and shrubs watered during the hotter months of the year. One way to prevent the need for continuously watering and cleaning the garden or landscape is to make use of bark mulch. Mulch is an ideal addition to any home or business garden and has a myriad of benefits that will not only save you time, but save water and money as well.

How it Saves Water

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How Garden Mulch Promotes a Healthy Garden

purple azalea flowers with garden mulch 300x200If you have a garden or plan to start one, you are likely wondering what you can do to improve the quality and health of your garden, which is understandable. You can take several steps to reach your goal, but not all of the things you will try are equal. Adding the right garden mulch to your soil will give you plenty of great benefits if you are serious about getting the most from your effort. You will be thrilled as soon as you see the difference. Review the following top advantages you can get when you use mulch so that you can choose the path that makes sense for you.

Mulch Combats Weeds

Weeds are a common enemy of those who enjoy growing gardens in their yards, causing several issues you need to address if you don’t wish to face unneeded threats. Inability to control and combat a weed problem will destroy your progress and harm your results. Weeds will steal sunlight from your flowers or vegetables, but they will also consume nutrients and cause other issues you want to avoid. You can buy mulch if you would like a safe and effective way to fight weeds and keep them at bay. Once your plants sprout, spread a 2-inch layer of mulch on your soil to enjoy the benefits, and the weeds won’t have a chance. Your garden mulch will stop them from getting sunlight, doing wonders to keep them out of your garden for good. Continue reading

Mulch vs. Stone: A Landscaping Debate

When landscaping, there are many options available to those looking to spruce up their yards. One common dilemma is whether to use stone or mulch in non-lawn areas. Both come in an array of styles and colors and have benefits to both gardening and the yard’s aesthetics. For example, both rock and mulch areas tend to inhibit weeds, reducing maintenance needs. However, there are some differences, other than mere appearances, that should be considered to pick the perfect material for your project. Continue reading

Why You Should Mulch Your Garden in Spring

green grass next to bark mulch 300x225Every year, at least 117 million U.S. citizens participate in spring gardening activities of some kind. Unfortunately, many gardeners neglect to mulch their plants when preparing their soil beds. Here are just a few of the great things that a quality bark mulch can do for your garden.

Promote Vigorous Seedling Growth

As you’re no doubt aware, seedlings are incredibly vulnerable during their first few weeks of life. A solid layer of mulch will support seedlings as they put down roots and prevent them from being damaged by strong winds, hard rains and damage from wildlife. Continue reading

How Vital Is Winter Mulch For Protecting Your Plants?

hens and chicks on snowy rock wall 233x300Whatever the climate, mulching is essential for new shrubs and trees. Mulch is a layer of material placed on top of the soil surface to conserve moisture and hold down weeds. It shelters plants during the winter by reducing the hazards of freezing and thawing. The abrupt warm interlude followed by the usual cold temperature damages plant roots that leads to plant damage. Mulch improves soil structure as it decomposes.

Here are some tips for people who are not yet too familiar with the use of mulch that protects plants until they become dormant: Continue reading