Landscape Mulch 101

by | Apr 6, 2021

It is that time of year. Months of cold and dreary weather had you thinking about being anywhere except your backyard. Now one week of warm weather and all you can think about is how quickly you need to get your yard in shape for entertaining and enjoying a beverage with a view.

Your first concern is undoubtedly the mulching situation. You have to call your lawn care company to get it scheduled QUICKLY or you will be last in line. Oops too late. Now you have to do it. There are so many questions…how much mulch do you need?  What kind of mulch do you buy? How deep should it be in flower beds, around trees, near walkways, etc?  Why do you really need it?  When is it too late to mulch?

Why you should mulch

  • Organic mulch adds nutrition to your soil. This is important for the growth of plants and the health of the soil.
  • Mulch keeps your soil in place by adding a protective layer above it and also helps retain moisture.
  • Mulch helps control those pesky weeds.
  • Frost can damage plants. Mulch helps protect the plants by covering them.
  • It is just prettier with mulch!

Different types of mulch

Organic mulch is former living matter such as leaves, grass, wood, straw, bark, pine needles, etc.  Inorganic mulch can be plastic, rubber, rocks, etc. This choice is purely personal preference. They each have their benefits and drawbacks. Organic matter adds nutrients back to the soil but breaks down faster and needs to be replaced more often than inorganic mulch.  Inorganic mulch is more costly; however, it doesn’t need to be reapplied as often as organic mulch.

When to mulch

In general, mid-late spring is the time to mulch. It is dependent upon weather when the soil is beginning to get warmer. Weeds haven’t begun to grow yet at this point. If done too early you can delay plant growth by trapping the wetness from the cold.

How much mulch to use

Mulch can be between 1 – 4 inches depending on personal preference, where it is, and the purpose of the mulch in that particular location. Mulching around trees is good for keeping weeds away and retaining moisture. However, you should not use more than 3 inches and should not be too close to the trunk of a tree, or you risk decay due to too much moisture. Remember that organic mulch will decompose over time making it necessary to add mulch again to get to your desired depth. This is the biggest reason to use a professional. A professional can help you determine how much mulch is needed for all the different areas of your yard.

Why use a professional?

There are several reasons to use a professional for mulching. Besides the obvious reason of being the expert for all the above questions, professionals have all the equipment needed to get the job done. Transporting mulch can be inconvenient and MESSY! The cost to do it right the first time can save you money in the long run due to the extra cost of having to fix mistakes. Contact Hope Grows at 317-207-4884 to schedule service or email us at