Putting Mulch or bark in your yard is an important step in protecting your landscaping. Yes it does help dress up the look but it also helps protect roots from freezing or burning on hot days. It retains warmth on cold nights and slows the ground of drying out on hot days.
Do your homework! Know where your mulch is coming from. What is it made from? What's mixed in it? Is it completely organic? Did it come from the local dump? Once you introduce a foreign material into your yard what ever little creatures that came with it will spread and deteriorate your soil in a very short time.
Once you have all your facts in place and have made a choice follow these 8 steps and you will be able to suppress weeds while giving rich nutrients to your soil. Then watch your plants grow and glow deep rich green color.
1. KILL WEEDS
Spray all weeds with weed killer 1 to 2 weeks prior to mulching. This allows weeds to completely die, making them much easier to pull.
2. TRIM TREES AND BUSHES
Because of the debris produced, be sure to trim trees and bushes before applying new mulch.
3. CLEAN OUT MULCH BEDS
Remove all dead leaves, weeds and trimmings with a rake.
4. EDGE YOUR BEDS
Landscapes with clean edges enhance the appearance and give it a professional look. Use an edging shovel or power edger to accomplish this. Tip: Use your garden hose as a guide to create nice flowing curves.
5. RAKE SMOOTH
Use a stiff rake, such as a mud rake, to smooth all surfaces to be mulched. Otherwise, your mulch will look lumpy.
6. APPLY A QUALITY LANDSCAPE WEED BARRIER CLOTH (NOT PLASTIC) IT NEEDS TO DRAIN
This is the best insurance to prevent weeds.
7. IT'S TIME TO MULCH
Using your hands or a rake, apply new mulch over the cultivated mulch or soil. Spread evenly to 2-inches thick, more or less, depending on budget and taste. When complete, water to moisturize mulch and settle it into place.
8. USE DRIP IRRIGATION
If you have plants do not use spray head sprinklers. The calcium in the water will discolor and break down the Bark or Mulch.