Green Thumb League

Mulching Your Garden and How Much You Need

If you are planning to start a garden or are not adding mulch to your current garden, this article is for you. Mulching will not only make your plants healthier but also help keep it weed free. We’ll show you how much to add and how often to keep your garden beautiful year-round.

Why Mulch

Mulch is made up of leaves, bark or compost and is highly beneficial to gardens and plants. It will not only make your planted areas look nicer but will also help keep the moisture in the soil. It acts as a barrier to evaporation which allows your plants to keep much-needed moisture where it’s needed most – the roots.

You can use mulch around annuals, perennial plants, flowers, shrubs, vegetable garden and even trees.

How Much Mulch?

Add a layer of mulch approximately 2-inches in depth. This will help keep the weeds down and is sufficient to act as the moisture barrier. Your plants also need oxygen, so keep the mulch around this depth to allow them to get air.

Adding too much mulch will inhibit water from reaching the soil below. Water will shed off the top of the mulch instead of filtering down. The maximum amount also depends on the type of mulch you choose to use.

Shredded hardwood mulch should not be applied more than 3 inches in depth. Courser textured mulch such as pine bark nuggets all more air and water penetration so could be applied as high as 4 inches. Telling you the depth of the mulch won’t help much when you are going to the store to buy it, so let’s look at how to calculate how much you need.

Calculate How Much to Buy

First, you need to know the square footage of your bed or areas. Multiply the width by the length for square or rectangular areas. If the area is circular, simply multiply the distance from the middle of the circle (radius) by 3.14.

Mulch is typically sold by the cubic yard. Each cubic yard covers a 324-square-foot area – one inch deep. To determine the total you need, simply multiply your square footages by the depth you plan to apply the mulch. Divide this number by 324 and you will know how many cubic yards to buy!

Summer Clayton

Summer Clayton has always loved getting her hands dirty. Ever since she was a kid playing in her grandparents’ garden, Summer wanted to learn everything she could about plants. Now she wants to help you grow a bigger, better, greener garden.

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