How to Mulch Your Yard

Figuring out how to mulch your yard doesn’t need to be overwhelming and it can make a real difference in your landscaping. It’s a really straight-forward process that anyone can do, even a beginner. You’ll find that after you’ve mulched, your yard will look more put together. It will be a place where you and your family will love to spend time in. 

There are many different kinds of mulch, but we’re not big fans of the stuff that is made of rubber or the mulch that is died a color, like red or black. If you want your landscaping to look classic, stick with natural materials like pine bark or even pine needles.

Decide Where to Mulch

Deciding where you need mulch is the first step to mulching your yard. The main function of mulch is to retain moisture and discourage weeds. This works great for flower beds and vegetable gardens.

However, you can use mulch for whatever you like. You can put it around mailboxes, around trees, or really wherever you would like. It can add a lot of character and definition to your yard no matter where you decide to put it. 

Choose a Good Time to Mulch

You can add mulch to your yard anytime you’d like. However, there are certain times of the year where it’s best to mulch. 

There are many advantages to mulching in the spring. Mulch will help control weeds, retain moisture, insulate the plants, and add nutrients to the soil. Lay it down in your garden or other areas of your yard after you’ve done your spring planting. 

You can also spread mulch in the Autumn and it can be an important part of Fall lawn maintenance. You can completely spread new mulch to help with plant stability as the ground freezes and unfreezes, or you can just add a thin layer to spruce up your existing mulch. 

Determine How Much Mulch You Need

The biggest question when it comes to mulching is how much mulch you should buy. Luckily, some simple measuring will help you answer that question. 

Calculate the area of the space you want to add mulch to by measuring the length and the width. Lucky for us, we don’t need to do any math if we use Home Depot’s Mulch Calculator. All you do is enter the length and width of the yard, indicate what type of mulch you’re using, and put in how deep you want the mulch to be after it’s spread. The calculator will tell you how many bags of mulch you need to purchase for your project. 

Get Ready to Mulch

Now that you’ve got your mulch, it’s time to get the area where you’re mulching ready. Following these steps will ensure that your mulch lasts. You’ll need a few basic yard tools to mulch your yard:

  • Gloves
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Shovel or Pitchfork
  • Rake

Here’s what you’ll need to do to best prepare your yard for mulch:

  1. Clean out area. Remove any dried leaves, sticks, old much, and other debris.
  2. Smooth it down. Use your rake to smooth down the area and level it. 
  3. Add edging. Get clean, crisp lines that separate the mulch from your lawn with these edging tips. If you already have an edge, use a spade to freshen up the line.
  4. Water. If your ground is dry, you need to wet down the area before adding mulch. 
  5. Remove weeds. Pull any weeds before adding mulch.

Lay Your Mulch

Now that you have your area ready to mulch, it’s time to spread the mulch. Use your shovel or pitchfork to put small piles of mulch in the area you’d like to lay it. Use a rake to spread the mulch in large empty areas but use your hands to spread the mulch around any plants. 

You want your mulch to be 2-4 inches thick for the best results. If you spread your mulch too thin, you’ll get weeds and if you add too much water will have trouble reaching the soil. 

You’ll want to leave at least 1” around tree trunks or plants so their roots have the space they need to grow. 

Maintain Your Mulch

After you’ve laid down your mulch, you’ll want to give it one final watering. Only lightly water the mulch for the first 24 to 48 hours. If you notice your mulch getting faded by the sun, gently turn over the top layer for a new appearance. 

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  • Reply Loretta

    Hi Brooke! This looks great! I wanted to ask, any helpful hints on keeping the white brick clean? Do you ever have issues with this? Like splash up from rain? Thanks!!

    March 21, 2021 at 2:10 pm
  • Reply Lachelle

    Does the white duck ever look like a pinky peach color on your house?

    March 11, 2023 at 6:13 pm
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