How to Lay Mulch Properly

Spreading mulch on your landscape might seem like an easy task, but it requires a little more work than that. Whether you want to create a thriving garden or just create a beautiful landscape, here are some tips to spread mulch properly. First, prepare the soil. Prepare the soil by applying a pre-emergent herbicide. Next, spread the mulch evenly. Finally, calculate how much mulch you need. Once you know how much mulch you need, it will be easier to know how much to buy.

How to Lay Mulch Properly

Applying a pre-emergent herbicide

When applying a pre-emergent herbicide, it’s important to apply it before the weeds even emerge. Most pre-emergents require 0.5 inches of irrigation or rain to activate their effect. While many landscape professionals recommend applying pre-emergent herbicides at temperatures of 60 or 70 degrees, a University of Missouri study found that 55 degrees is the ideal temperature for best results. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and monitor the weather closely.

Pre-emergent herbicides are best applied in the early spring or early fall before the ground temperature rises above 55 degrees. This temperature is important because it is the temperature at which cold weather seeds will germinate. Pre-emergents are available in both liquid and granular formulations, and they work in much the same way to stop weed seeds from sprouting.

Preparing the soil

Before laying mulch on your garden, make sure to prepare the soil. Start by clearing any debris from your garden bed or shrubs. Then, use a shovel to turn the soil over, aerating it and providing it with moisture. Finally, use a weed repellent to keep unwanted weeds at bay. After mulching, you can add more mulch to the beds as needed to keep them looking even.

Fertilize your soil to ensure it is ready for mulch. Most plants will appreciate fertilizer applied in the spring and fall. Spring fertilizer can make your flower bed pop. Use water-soluble fertilizer for annuals. You can also use a pre-emergent herbicide to keep weeds at bay or to prevent them from growing. Once you’ve prepared the soil, rake the surface until it is level.

Spreading mulch

You can spread mulch by hand with the proper tools. These tools include a pitchfork, shovel, and steel tine rake. Essential Home and Garden recommends using a wheelbarrow and a steel tine rake. Load the wheelbarrow with mulch and then use the rake to spread the mulch evenly. To avoid tripping over the mulch, use a face mask while spreading the material.

If you are unable to spread mulch yourself, you can use rental equipment. Mulching equipment is available at The Home Depot. You can rent mulch spreading equipment, as well as mulch. Mulching equipment can be rented for as long as you need it and then returned to The Home Depot once you are finished. In addition to mulch, you can also use yard waste to make your own mulch. Wood waste is a great source of mulch.

Calculating how much mulch to buy

The first step in laying mulch is to calculate how much you need. To do this, you can calculate how much square footage you need for the area you are laying mulch on. To find the square footage, divide the area’s length and width by 3.14 feet. Use a conversion chart to convert feet to inches. Then, multiply those two figures together to get the volume of mulch you need.

In order to figure out how much mulch to buy, divide the total area by the desired depth in inches. For example, a one-inch-thick layer of mulch will cover about 324 square feet. If you want to lay two inches of mulch on your yard, you will need three cubic yards. This is the most common calculation for estimating the volume needed. However, you will want to factor in any additional landscape features that are not outlined on the plan.

Avoiding weeds beneath the mulch

Having a good layer of mulch around your garden is essential for keeping weeds at bay. However, not all mulches are created equal. Some of them are made from low-quality materials such as grass clippings and straw. Some of them are even made from wood chips and sawdust. This type of mulch also allows for weeds to grow through it, so make sure to select the best quality mulch for your garden.


Wood chips and bark mulch are good choices for preventing weeds beneath mulch. These materials decompose slowly, but they should not touch the trunks of trees. Grass cuttings may also be mulched, but make sure to wilt them before laying them down. If you’re concerned about attracting snails, you can roll up a piece of newspaper and weigh it down with rocks or soil. If your garden is big enough, consider using coarse chipped bark mulch between shrubs and trees. It decomposes slowly, and it doesn’t blow away easily. In addition to mulching the roots of your plants, a layer of sawdust or hemp matting is a good choice for large areas between trees and shrubs.


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