4 “Musts” for Using Garden Mulch in Utah

How do you garden mulch?

Adding mulch is a great way to ensure you outdoor plants have access to a consistent supply of water and nutrients. Not only is it good for your plants and the environment, but mulching also boosts the aesthetic appeal of your garden.

garden mulch

The gardening experts at Millcreek Gardens in Salt Lake City have a few “green thumb guidelines” for using mulch, to help you get the most from its many benefits.

No. 1: Apply Garden Mulch in the Spring

Early spring is a great time for mulching, as the material helps keep the soil warm during the cool Utah nights. Mulch can be left on throughout the summer to provide cooler soil and even moisture to the outdoor plants.

In a perennial Utah garden, mulching in the fall is also beneficial, as it helps protect plant roots and keeps them from freezing.

If you use garden mulch year-round, you’ll need to rake it aside each spring to prepare your garden beds. If it hasn’t decomposed, you can reuse you’re the material or mix it into the soil.

No. 2: Weed and Feed Before Adding Garden Mulch

Mulching helps fight the war on weeds, but the battle begins with prevention. Before applying mulch, get rid of the weeds in your garden beds.

Before you lay down the mulch, take a moment to think about feeding your outdoor plants. Millcreek Gardens offers a range of all-purpose fertilizers as well as specialty varieties formulated for flowers, rose bushes and vegetable gardens.

No. 3: Add the Right Amount of Garden Mulch

The amount of garden mulch you use matters. Apply too much, and you could smother young outdoor plants.

Aim for a uniform depth of about two to three inches. If the particle size of your mulching material is larger, like chunks of bark, you can apply a layer four inches thick – air can easily pass through the bigger spaces between the mulch chunks, so your outdoor plants won’t suffer from a lack of oxygen.

No. 4: Don’t Crowd Your Outdoor Plants

Some gardeners pile on the mulch, creating little volcanoes around each plant stem. This is not a good idea, because crowding your outdoor plants this way can cause them to rot and die.

Instead, keep the mulch about two or three inches away from every plant stem. For landscaping trees and shrubs, apply the material in a circle around the drip line.

Are you ready to start mulching? Millcreek Gardens, Salt Lake City’s favorite garden center since 1955, carries a range of natural and colored mulches for landscaping flexibility and creativity. Stop in today and let our friendly staff answer all of your questions and help you choose the perfect garden mulch.