So far this Spring has been cooler than normal. The cooler temperatures and rainfall have been good for the grass and the beautiful blooming trees and plants. Now is a perfect time to step outside and enjoy your yard.
Mulch is an important and beneficial part of your landscape. Mulch reduces weeds, helps to retain soil moisture and gives your landscape a well-groomed appearance. However too much mulch or improperly applied mulch will create problems. Most landscapes are over mulched, especially commercial properties. Thick, heavy mulch becomes matted and prevents penetration of water and air.
The average amount of mulch needed is 2″ – 4″ in depth. The mulch should NOT touch the trunk of the tree. The trunk and root crown should be exposed. Starting a couple of inches away from the trunk create a ring around the tree or shrub. The wider the ring the greater benefit to the roots. Mulch out to the dripline if possible. For planting beds, mulch should be about 2″ deep, and not touching the stems of the plants. Do not exceed 4″ in depth.
Just Say NO to Mulch Volcanoes!
A mulch volcano is the term given to a large amount of mulch piled high against the trunk of a tree, resembling a cone or volcano. You will often see this done by landscapers at commercial sites, such as shopping centers. Homeowners see it and assume mistakenly it is the proper technique. It is not. In fact, it will eventually cause damage and possibly kill the tree. This practice saves the landscapers time and money by just dumping a wheelbarrow full of mulch around the trunk and then leaving. Please do not use this method in your landscaping.
When mulch lays against the tree the trunk becomes diseased and will decay because of moisture retention. The tree will likely suffer from insect and rodent damage along with girdling roots.
Garden in a Bag
This is a faster, easier way to create a garden bed for annual flowers or many types of vegetables and herbs. Purchase bags of topsoil or garden soil. Forty-pound bags are recommended. Lay out enough bags to create the size bed you want. The plastic will smother any weeds or grass under the bags, so you don’t have to dig it up. Using a screwdriver or knife, punch at least 12 drainage holes on one side of the bag. This side will go face down on the ground. Cut a large, rectangular window on the upper flat surface of each bag. Leave the sides and 2″ of each top edge intact, so that is resembles a picture frame. This rim will keep the soil from spilling out.
Break up any clumps of soil, plant your seeds or transplant plants as directed into the dirt. Use mulch to hide the bags but keep the mulch several inches away from the stems of the plants. Water and fertilize as you would for a container planting.
This is an ideal way to plant under trees where their roots may be a problem. Read the plant tags to choose the proper plants for the location of the bags. Most vegetables require full or almost full sun.
Please remember to check out our Website and Blog for more ideas and tips to care for you landscape.
We hope you and your family stay safe and healthy during this troubling time. Everyone at Grass Roots sincerely appreciates you giving us the opportunity to serve you. We wish you all the best.