Mulch is an organic material that covers a soil surface. Mulch prevents water loss, maintains an even soil temperature, suppresses weeds, enhances plant growth and creates an attractive landscape. It is available in a variety of materials and price ranges. Use these tips to learn how to buy mulch for your landscape.
1Choose the right mulch for your landscaping needs. Cypress, pine, hardwood and cedar are the most popular types of mulches. Look for mulch that is readily available in your local area.
- Buy cypress mulch for its water holding benefits. Cypress has the capacity to hold more water than other forms of wood mulch, which reduces water evaporation from the soil. However, cypress mulch may reduce the amount of water actually reaching the plant roots.
- Consider pine and hardwood mulches for their long-lasting beauty.
- Purchase cedar as a natural form of insecticide and a good option for reducing bugs.
2Select the areas where you will apply the mulch. Carefully evaluate your garden, lawn and general landscape. Good places to apply mulch include flower beds, vegetable gardens, borders, walkways, play areas and around trees and shrubs.
3Measure the areas where you will apply mulch. Measure the width and length of every area that you intend to mulch. Jot down your measurements.
4Determine the amount of mulch to purchase.
- Calculate the amount of mulch you need in cubic yards. Bulk mulch is sold by the cubic yard, which is the measurement widely used in the gardening industry for mulch. One cubic yard (27 cubic feet) will provide 1 inch of coverage over 324 square feet.
- Evaluate how deep you want the mulch. The amount of mulch you buy depends on how deep you want the mulch to be. Most gardening experts recommend 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm) over general soil, with 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5.1 cm) around vegetables, flowers and shrubs.
- Figure out how many cubic yards you need by multiplying the width and length of each area to determine the square footage. Multiply the square footage by the desired depth of the mulch (1 to 3 inches or 2.5 to 7.6 cm), and then divide by 324.
5Decide to buy mulch in bags or bulk.
- Get bags of mulch to cover small areas. Bags of mulch usually come in quantities of 2.0 cubic feet. Note that bags of mulch come in different measurements than bulk mulch - cubic feet vs. cubic yards. For each cubic yard, you will need an average of 13 bags of mulch. Bags of mulch may save you time. You can empty a few bags into a wheelbarrow and apply it to your landscape without having to use a shovel. They are also easier to transport.
- Purchase bulk mulch for larger landscaping needs. Bulk mulch is less expensive than the bagged version and may be a smart alternative if you have several areas that need mulching. Be prepared to shovel the mulch into wheelbarrows or other containers to transport it to your garden areas.
6Compare prices. Visit several garden stores to compare prices on bagged or bulk mulch. Factor in delivery costs if you are purchasing bulk mulch. If you are buying bags of mulch, check the store's return policy. Often stores will allow you to return extra bags of unopened mulch if you purchase too many.Advertisement
I'm concerned about pests in the mulch. How do I know it's pest free?Answered by wikiHow Contributor
- Most mulches should be relatively free of pests. If you are worried about pests, cover the mulch with black plastic sheeting and leave it in the sun; this raises the temperature, and either drives the pests away or kills them. The mulch then may be used as intended.
Things You'll NeedEdit
- Measuring tool
- Paper and pencil
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