For many homeowners, using mulch in areas around their homes is another way to keep their lawns and homes looking clean and defined from afar. Not only does mulch provide a positive aesthetic, but it also benefits the ground below! Mulch slows down the evaporation rate from the soil, enabling plants to retain proper amounts of water and nutrients. Using mulch also hinders weed growth while adding organic matter back into the soil. However, many homeowners are guilty of using incorrect practices when it comes to mulching around their homes. For more serious lawn care mistakes, speak to a lawn care specialist. Here are five of the most common mulching mistakes and how to avoid them.
5 Common Mulching Mistakes:
Not Getting Rid of Weeds before Mulching
All natural areas are susceptible to weeds. If not taken care of properly, your once beautiful landscape can be overrun with weeds after a few weeks. Adding mulch onto a bed with already-established weeds won’t make them disappear. Instead, work to rake up all the old mulch and dig up any weeds that have invaded the space. You can then spray a pre or post-emergent herbicide (depending on the season) to further deter weeds from growing. Then spread a nice layer of mulch on top. This fresh layer of mulch will continue to deter or slow down future weed growth.
Using Fresh Mulch
It’s best to use mulch that has been sitting for a few months. This ensures that any weed seeds that may reside in the fresh mulch can sprout and die. While also making sure that any residual herbicides previously used will be rinsed away from the mulch. Both of these could wreak havoc on your beautiful landscape, and would be a hinder rather than a help to the area applied.
Using Too Much or Too Little Mulch
When it comes to mulching, finding the sweet spot of how much to actually use around your home is critical. Too thin of a mulch layer means weeds are more likely to grow through easier, while also being easily washed away in certain storm conditions. Too thick of a mulch layer can be detrimental to the root systems of any existing plants in those natural areas, as it completely smothers the oxygen the roots need to survive. Therefore, most recommend using a three-inch layer of mulch. This is thick enough to deter weeds, should stay in place, while also allowing water and nutrients to travel down to the already established plants.
Making Mulch Volcanoes
Frequently you may see trees in lawns with mounds of mulch around them, almost resembling a volcano. This is a big mistake as it can cause the tree’s roots to rot from staying too damp while also inviting insects to invade, weakening the tree overall with the potential of killing it. Instead, spread the mulch in an even layer, leaving space against the trunk (almost as if it resembles a donut). Make sure to do this practice not only for trees but also for bushes, perennials, and other established plants within natural areas.
Using Dyed Mulch
Going back to aesthetics, some homeowners like the look of colored mulch around their homes. Although some colored mulch may contain natural dyes to give them their color, others have been sprayed with colorants that contain toxins that are not only bad for pets and kids but can also leach into the soil beneath. This type of dyed mulch will destroy good bacteria and other beneficial microorganisms in the soil and plants. Make sure to read the label of any bagged dyed mulch or talk to a nursery worker to clarify how the mulch was colored.
Any kind of landscape project costs homeowners time and money. Avoiding these five common mulching mistakes means you won’t spend more time fixing errors that arise from them, while also ensuring that your landscape can thrive. This means your mulch and plants will stay healthy and last longer than one season, allowing you to spend your time and energy elsewhere.
Gecko Green is a locally owned lawn care and pest control company that has proudly served the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for over 20 years. Backed by the best products and equipment, our trained professionals have the knowledge and experience to skillfully care for any home and yard. Gecko Green has an expert team you can rely on for lawn fertilization, pest control, tree and shrub care, and even mosquito control.
As a family-owned and operated business, we are proud to provide friendly and highly personalized customer service. Expertise.com recently recognized us as the “Best Lawn Care Services in Dallas” as well as the “Best Pest Control Services in Dallas.” Customers can be confident in our A+ Better Business Bureau rating and our Three Best rating. Call us today to experience the Gecko Green difference for yourself!