When & How to Use Mulch in Landscaping

18 Jun

Mulch serves many purposes in landscape designs.

  • It retains the moisture for plant roots
  • It cuts down on weeds
  • It is an affordable way to add curb appeal
  • It can be applied in an artistic manner
  • It adds contrast and texture to plant beds and homes
  • It hides unsightly blooms of spent flowers fallen on the ground
  • It makes it easier to pull weeds
  • It provides a low maintenance solution on slopes
  • It gradually decomposes, creating improved soil structure for plants
  • Some will deter insects and pests
  • Mulch is an affordable solution to a naturalistic walking path

I like to apply fresh mulch in the month of June. This is the time when the daffodil foliage and flowers of azaleas, gardenia and other spring blooming shrubs have ended. Simply take your water hose on full blast and spray spent flowers so they fall to the ground. This “Kleims Hardy” Gardenia has finished blooming.

A water hose has cleaned the plant and looks beautiful again.

A fresh application of mulch will hide all of the brown flowers that you have sprayed off.

Mulch can also be applied in an artistic manner. Especially if your plant bed is on the large side, having one mulch can look mundane. In my son’s memory garden, pine needles and dark hardwood mulch was applied to create contrast and interest.

Pine needles in the back and hardwood toward the front.

So many ways to use mulch!! Hardwood mulch was used to delineate a walking path under the pergola with the majority of the plant bed mulched with pine needles.

If you have natural areas that contain birdbaths, fountains, benches or other garden art, think about adding a mulched path. Use a contrasting mulch from the one used on the majority of the plant bed.

Selling your home and can’t get the grass to growin certain spots? Just get out the round up and turn those areas into plant beds.

Please save the brightly red colored mulch for theme parks and museums.

Happy Planting!

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation


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One response to “When & How to Use Mulch in Landscaping

  1. Shawn

    September 23, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Fantastic article. Thank you for some great in site into the use of Mulch.
    I look forward to reading your other articles.


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