Take a moment to think about the concept of mulch.  It is not new.  Think about where most woody plants such as trees and shrubs come from.  Most come from rich soil that is fertile and has a layer of leaves, twigs, and other organic matter that is decomposing.  Mulching is happening on its own in nature.  One of the best ways to grow a healthy plant is to mimic the conditions it grows in naturally.  A healthy less stressed plant will require fewer fertilizer or chemical treatments.

Benefits of Mulching

  • Holds moisture around the root zone of plants reducing the watering needs of the plant.
  • Helps to insulate the root zone from summer heat and winter cold temperature extremes.
  • Adds organic matter to the soil as it decomposes.
  • Simulates the natural growing environment of woody plants.
  • Reduces the chance of mechanical injury to the plant. An injury that may add stress or cause death.
  • Reduces maintenance needs.

Type of Mulch

There are many types of mulch available.  We recommend mulch that will most mimic the conditions plants grow in nature while keeping appearance of the landscape in mind.  We offer double ground hardwood mulch (wood and bark from hardwood trees that have been ground twice).  We choose this type of mulch because it takes longer to decompose than soft woods, it has a nice natural brown color, and the material the mulch is made from best matches many of the plants we install in this area.  We avoid using mulches that have been dyed as they may be any type of wood (trees, pallets, fence posts, boards, etc.) that is ground up and colored.

Proper Installation

Choose plants that will be best suited for the site they will be growing.  Once planted, spread a layer of mulch roughly 3” thick over the planting area.  Spread the mulch nice and even trying to avoid thin areas or thick piles.  DO NOT mound mulch around the trunks or stems of your woody plants.  Keep the mulch slightly pulled back from those areas.  Mulch that is up against the stems and trunks of plants will hold moisture around them and cause the bark to rot off.  It may take several years for the plants to show signs of a problem and it may lead to their death.

Trees in the yard will benefit from a properly installed tree ring of mulch.  The ideal sized mulch tree ring would extend to the drip line of the tree.  As the tree grows so should the tree ring.  The mulched ring should be 3” thick like the beds in the landscape.  Again, remember to avoid mounding mulch against the trunk of the tree. 

Mulching Coverage Calculations
1 cubic yard covers 108 sq ft 3” thick
9 (3 cubic foot bags) covers 108 sq ft 3” thick
13.5 (2 cubic foot bags) covers 108 sq ft 3” thick


As the mulch in your landscape ages it will begin to break down and decompose.  We usually figure 1” per year.  Because of this we strongly recommend mulch topdressing in the spring each year.  To topdress your beds and tree rings simply spread an even 1” layer of new mulch over the existing mulch areas.  Remember to keep the mulch off the trunks and stems of the plants as it is spread.

Topdressing Coverage Calculations
1 cubic yard covers 324 sq ft 1” thick
9 (3 cubic foot bags) covers 324 sq ft 1” thick
13.5 (2 cubic foot bags) covers 324 sq ft 1” thick


Call us today for your mulching needs 1-800-682-8830 or 515-382-8830

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