How to Mulch Your Garden

Mulching your garden is easy and here are my steps

There are all sorts of ways to keep your garden looking neat and tidy. From your plants’ texture, spacing, lighting, topography, paths, or garden theme, there are different levels of tidy.

One way to keep your garden looking tidy and sharp is to keep it weeded regularly and use mulch. Mulch is any material (wood chips, straw, stone, rubber, recycled plastic, burlap, or even coffee grounds) used in and around your garden plants to

control weeds,
retain soil moisture,
lessen soil erosion,
insulate plant roots,
increase soil fertility (wood chips and other organic matter only), and
also encourage soil organisms and beneficial insects.

Choosing your mulch can be fun and give your garden a very personal touch.

Mulching is easy and usually follows weeding your garden. This is because after removing the weeds in garden beds, you want to lessen the ability of any new weed seeds to germinate, where adding a mulch material adds a barrier for any water, light, or favorable temperatures for weed seeds to grow.

Steps to Mulching:
- First weed your garden bends so they are clean and clear of all weed materials, including weed roots.
- Rake and level out any soil that was disturbed in your garden beds, being careful not to disturb the roots of trees, shrubs, or perennials.
- Make sure to water all your plants in thoroughly, especially if weeding and mulching when the soil is dry. Keep in mind, if you bury your irrigation system in mulch, mark your control boxes somehow (flags, pins, rebar) or keep mulch clear.
- Start adding your mulch material into the garden beds, being sure not to bury your plants and keeping the mulch 2–4 inches away from the base of any plants, especially trees.
- Keep adding the mulch until you reach at least 4 inches of depth uniformly in the beds, raking and leveling as you go.
- Now sit back and enjoy the new look of your garden! Looks great, right!

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Sean McManus writes about gardening, landscaping, gardening productivity, time management, tips and tricks, and other things associated with dirt-digging/plant-goodness. Subscribe to his email list at and follow him on Twitter.

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