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Give Your Mulch a Facelift

Are you looking to spruce up your Atlanta lawn this spring? A fresh layer of mulch can do wonders for your curb appeal, but that’s not all it offers. Laying mulch provides a variety of benefits to your plants as well. But be careful – – too much of a good thing can be harmful, so make sure you have a proper mulching plan before you begin.

Mulch Gives Life to Your Garden: Fresh mulch with a rich color is a great way to give your yard a facelift, but it also makes your plants very happy. Mulch helps your garden beds to retain moisture, reduces weed growth and helps moderate the soil temperature so that your plants can thrive.

Your Mulch Options: There are endless possibilities when it comes to selecting mulch. Any organic material can do the job but some are better suited for certain applications than others. Pine straw, bark mulch and wood chips are the most common types of mulch around Atlanta.   Compost also makes a great mulch, offering many useful bugs and micronutrients to build up your soil. 

How Much to Buy: Measure the area you want to mulch so you know how much to buy. One yard of mulch is enough to cover 300 square feet an inch deep. For smaller areas, you can buy bags of mulch at your local garden center, but for larger jobs you may want to consider buying in bulk and having it delivered.

The Dirty Work: The first step is to strip the area of old mulch buildup. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to keep the mulch depth less than 3 inches. If you top-dress with an inch of new mulch each year, you’ll only need to strip your mulched beds every few years. Apply a once inch layer with your hands, shovel or mulch fork and spread across your bed.

Don’t Go Overboard: The most common mistake with mulching is applying too much mulch or allowing too much to build up over time. An excess of mulch can smother your plants, cause tree trunks to rot and encourage a shallow root system which can ultimately kill a plant. To avoid this, spread the mulch evenly, use sparingly around trunks and remove buildup once it reaches that 3-inch mark.

Changing out mulch can help enhance your soil and support your ornamentals so they’re better equipped to fight off pests and diseases. Make your plants and neighbors happy this season and show your garden beds some love with fresh mulch.