how to mulch landscapes

The Three Musts of Mulching

Three important tips on how to mulch your landscape.

  1. Never apply mulch deeper than 3 inches.  If the mulch in your landscape is over three inches you must remove some.  Mulch over three inches prevents air, water and nutrients from reaching your trees and shrubs.
  2. Never touch mulch to the base of trees and shrubs.  Leave a gap from six inches to a foot around trees and shrubs.  If mulch is in contact with the bark of trees and shrubs it keeps it moist and encourages insects and disease.
  3. Before re-applying mulch turn your existing mulch.  Over time mulch can become compacted and matted down.  By cultivating your mulch you loosen it up so air and nutrients can make it through.  My favorite tool to cultivate mulch is the Garden Weasel.

Please remember the these tips when planning how to mulch your landscape.

By John Holden


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John Holden

I've spent my life honing my landscape design and installation skills and would like to share them with you. I've worked in Fairfield County, Connecticut for over 22 years and counting. I earned a Bachelors degree in Horticulture from the University of Connecticut.

4 thoughts on “The Three Musts of Mulching”

  1. Thanks, John. I am enjoying your tips as I try to get my garden in shape this season! The mulching tips were excellent:)

  2. Really appreciated the spirea trimming videos and the Lenten rose video. And thanks for the addition that the Lenten rose is evergreen and the cutting back should be done in early spring. All these years of guesswork gardening and trial and error — I wasn’t too far off, but your clear instruction is very helpful. Thanks, John.

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