How to Re-Mulch Your Yard the Right Way this Summer

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Wheelbarrow full of compost on green lawn in garden.

Keeping your garden in the best shape possible is hard, rewarding work. And there is one secret that most gardeners know to keep their garden in the best health: re-mulching. The benefits of learning how to re-mulch your yard periodically are huge, and can help keep your plants happy and thriving.

Why Re-Mulch

There are a few major benefits of re-mulching your garden:

• The biggest benefit is cleaning out the old mulch and bringing in fresh mulch. You want to make sure that the mulch in your garden is fresh, and this process helps clean out the dead pieces.
• Re-mulching also allows more air, moisture and nutrients to get to the plants and their roots. During the re-mulching process, you turn over the old mulch and remove the worn down pieces, which helps get more of the air, moisture and nutrients get distributed throughout your garden.

How to Re-Mulch Your Yard

Before you start re-mulching, make sure that there is less than 3 inches of mulch on your garden already – mulch that is over three inches deep is not effective and does more harm than good. You also should turn the old mulch using a pitchfork, metal rake or garden weasel. This will allow it to air out, and allow water and nutrients to reach the plants.

Once the existing mulch is mixed up, then lay a light top layer of fresh mulch on top. A light layer of one inch is all that is needed, and, again, never apply over three inches. You want to avoid covering perennials and leave between three-six inches between trees and shrubs and mulch. When you reach the edge of your lawn, make sure the level of mulch is same as the level of your lawn.

Do’s and don’ts of Mulching

When laying mulch down in your garden, you want to make sure to do it the right way so that you can reap all the benefits. Here are some dos and don’ts for mulching:

Do use it as a decorative element: While mulching can help create a healthy garden, it also has aesthetic value. Choose a color and texture that will fit well into the design of your garden.
Do look at your entire landscape: When designing your landscape, make sure that vegetation covers your entire space, and avoid a space with all the vegetation in one section. In other words, make sure there is a good balance of mulch and plants.
Do clean it: This is where re-mulching comes in. When you are re-mulching, make sure to remove and clean up any mulch that is too old, and replace it with new mulch.
Do try different types of mulch: Different types of mulch work better with different types of plants. Bark mulches are best for trees and shrubs, and grass clippings are great at suppressing weeds. If you think that the type of mulch you are using isn’t working well, don’t be afraid to mix it up.
Don’t forget bare soil: There are many environmental benefits to mulching. When there are exposed areas of soil in your garden or yard, erosion and sediment runoff will occur. Mulching can help combat this.
Don’t overdo it: When you use over three inches of mulch, the benefits disappear. Thick layers can suffocate plants, and moisture will not be able to penetrate down to the plants. Plants will die very slowly from over-mulching, meaning you might not catch your mistake in time to save them. To keep your plant healthy, use only a three-inch layer.
Don’t ignore the trees: Make sure to protect the trunk of the tree with mulch. This will create a protected area for the tree to grow better.

Lawnscape has been serving Southern California since 1979. We service turf and ground cover areas, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike. Our fertilization, weed, insect and disease control services will ensure that the grass will always be greener on your lawn.

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