Now that summer is here and the weather will allow most people in the northern hemisphere to get outside and tend to their gardens, it is time for you to start thinking about yours.
If you have a garden filled with colorful and good-looking flowers, you’ll want to maximize the look of it throughout the warm months. Mulching can be one of those methods that add a grand look to your flower beds, as well as helping the garden retain moisture in the soil and suppress weeds that compete with your plants for space. Mulching in the garden can be wonderful if done correctly, but can also be a challenge if never done before. Here is how to mulch a flower bed.
Choosing the right mulch
When selecting mulch, one will have to find one that compliments the beauty of their flower bed and can last through one or two growing seasons. Natural mulches are perfect for this kind of thing.
I like to use a mulch that includes nut shells and wood chips as they degrade slowly and aren’t a pain to look at. Make sure to research your mulch, ensuring that you aren’t putting in one that destroys the life of your flower plants.
Measuring the mulch
Because you want a two to three inch layer of mulch in your flower bed, you can’t simply measure out your garden and know how much mulch to obtain based on that measurement alone. Measure your garden in square feet and multiply it roughly based on how deep you want the layers of mulch to be. It is better to start slowly as you can always add more mulch.
Pick weeds and lay down newspaper
Newspaper isn’t just for reading as it can also be used as a barrier between your soil and the mulch. You’ll want to pick all the weeds out of your flower bed and lay down newspaper before you mulch. The paper will provide a nice barrier to unfriendly weed seedlings: go three or four layers of paper to get a nice barrier. Water the flowers before mulching.
Spread the mulch
Make sure to spread the mulch evenly throughout your flower bed to your desired thickness. Keep the mulch at least two inches away from the stems of plants and six inches away from buildings and such. You can use a rack or wear gloves and spread the mulch around with your hands. The more even the mulch is, the better.