Mulch the Edges Only
Mulching... another exciting maintenance topic... snore. Irrigation, pruning and now mulching, we gardeners really prefer to design and plant the garden, not maintain. So let's get to it and make sure this backbreaking, dress-up chore is quick, easy, and cheap.
We always mulch during the first quarter of the year (Jan, Feb, Mar) when plants are asleep, there’s not as much activity in the garden, and the family calendar is a bit quieter. We also limit the mulch to the edge of the beds. If we design and plant so that trees, shrubs and perennials are touching at maturity and we leave behind a thin layer of fallen leaves, there’s no need to mulch the interior of the beds. We’ve sufficiently shaded the ground to discourage weed germination, and we don't see the interior spaces of the beds in spring, summer and fall anyway. We mulch only to define our edges.
The chips are delivered within a few weeks and dumped on the driveway, ready for spreading. We start by holding a pitchfork vertically and pulling the top of the mulch pile onto the driveway. We then scoop the chips into a deep wheelbarrow using a super-wide, easy-to-wield snow shovel. After dumping the chips from the wheelbarrow into small piles at the edges of the beds, we spread them with a heavy-duty metal rake to create a 3-inch thick edge.
Add a few friends, relatives, kids, and extra tools to the process, and this mundane chore quickly turns into a gabfest with fringe (edge) benefits. Have fun. Think spring!
Welcome to my journal. For over 20 years I've created original landscape plans to help homeowners increase property value and really enjoy their yards. I approach every project as an unique opportunity to develop a work of living art, one that will require minimal care and age beautifully with time. In this journal, I will share some of my field experiences and tricks of the trade with you. Feel free to email questions. Thanks for visiting.