Mulch Spreading On Raised Garden Bed

An important part of managing your raised garden bed is knowing how to spread mulch. Whether you want to keep water with wood chips or protect the roots of plants with dead leaves in winter, you are glad to know what works best in different situations. It also helps to know how many covers to use!

Covering may be a late spring activity, or it may occur at the end of winter when trees are transplanted. The application of mulch has many advantages; One of the most common is to prevent weeds from entering the bay. There are other reasons to cover garden beds or yards. The application of appropriate kinds of mulch can keep plants healthy.

raised garden bed

There are many covers that are almost free. Add a covering to make a difference to the garden bed. If you want to know how to add and apply this incredible resource, we will introduce step-by-step instructions in this guide.

Why covers are important

Covering has two basic functions: locking water and preventing weeds from entering. This is because the mulch acts as a barrier between the soil and the sun, preventing the evaporation and germination of weed seeds or existing weeds. Some mulch will also decompose over time and return nutrients to the soil. Some decompose faster than others. Depending on the type you choose, spreading covers may occur annually or monthly. Of course, in some cases, some coverings are more appropriate than others. Therefore, before laying the covering, consider the types you can use.

Apply different types of coverings

Don't worry if you are worried that the covering will damage the bank. There are many sources of mulch. Some are cheap, even free! First, you need to carefully read the list of cover types and determine which covers best suit your needs. Let's talk about how to apply it in different contexts.

raised garden bed

Organic mulch

This general cover category refers to the organic substances scattered on the soil to inhibit weeds, keep the soil moist and provide nutrients for plants. With these materials, you should cover as often as necessary to maintain a good depth of coverage in the area while avoiding overwhelming garden soil.

Straw mulch is the dry straw of cereal crops, such as oats, wheat or rice. Most people use mulch made from dry grain plants in their vegetable gardens because it quickly decomposes and feeds the plants when it rots. There is a great straw covering product in our store, called Healthy Straw.

Wood chips are purchased or delivered free of charge by the arborist. They are ideal for gardens with established plants and trees, as well as landscaping, because they decompose slowly and do not need to be reapplied for several months at a time. Sawdust is a by-product of trimming and removing trees or stables. So is bark mulch.

Leaf coverings are usually free, collected by you or grabbed from your neighbor's yard. Leaves are full of high-quality organic matter, which will decompose into soil, improve the soil and release nutrients.

raised garden bed

Pine straw (or pine needles) is another almost free resource for those who live near the pine tree. Brown pine straw is usually not acidic and will decompose into a lovely forest like layer on the soil surface.

Collect grass cuttings when pruning yards and mulch beds in the spring, or combine them into compost piles. Newspaper clippings break down quickly and must be repainted frequently.

The cocoa shell cover is made of cocoa bean shells, which will give off a chocolate flavor when it is wet. They are a good choice for gardeners who want to add rich brown accents to the landscape without using stained wood coverings. But because the source: chocolate and cocoa products are not safe for dogs, they are not friendly to pets.

Paperboard and newspapers can act as a covering when shredded or used as an initial layer for a garden of baked lasagna. It's easy to collect newspapers and cardboard for free. Typically, they are paired with another type of mulch: compost.

Good compost materials may require some searching to find. Some composting options include mushroom compost and other plant compost, composting cow dung or composting horse dung. Remember, with these products, plants can grow directly in them, so it's better to fill these materials with a few inches of wood chips.

raised garden bed

Inorganic covering

This cover is made of materials that will not decompose over time. They still have the dual purpose of removing weeds from the garden and locking in soil moisture. But in most cases, they do not need to be supplemented, which makes them very suitable for path and landscape design. Inorganic coverings also have natural and artificial options.

Both rubber and plastic coverings are man-made. Rubber is usually the result of crushing industrial materials such as tyres. The plastic cover is in sheet form. For both types, apply mulch to one layer of the garden to control weeds. These cannot be used for thousand layer gardening, because they will not decompose, and there is a problem about whether they will immerse hazardous substances in the soil, so these are best used where you do not plan to plant anything, such as paths or children's playgrounds.

If you want a natural source of inorganic mulch, pumice or pea gravel is a good choice. They not only complete the basic coverage task, but also serve as the foundation of the rain garden, which is guided from the irrigation source. Both options look great in the landscape and are often used around desert gardens and dryland plants.

raised garden bed

Preliminary tasks

The first step in any coverage adventure is to calculate how many cubic yards of coverage are needed for a given space. One cubic yard covers 324 square feet and is one inch deep. Use the following equation to determine the amount of material that needs to be collected or purchased. By knowing how much mulch you need, you will save a lot of time moving back and forth between the source of mulch and the square foot of the garden.

Square feet x required depth/324=required cubic yards

Prepare the space by removing any existing weeds and using a hoe, small rake or aerator. This helps to expose the soil surface to any material that may decompose and provide nutrients to the soil.

How to cover the lawn

To promote lawn health and provide weed control throughout the year, use mulch in spring. Use a lawn mower with a cover blade to trim the yard. Cut it no more than 1/3 of the height of the grass, either let it lie in the yard, or collect it and use it in a more detailed and controllable way. Your collection process may involve bag attachments on the mower, or you can rake the mulch into small piles for later dissemination.

If you must cut more than 1/3 of the grass height and worry about the formation of grass at the root, please set the mower at a higher height and reduce the excessive growth when using the mowing bag. The second pass is slightly reduced without straw cutting bags, so that it is easier to apply a small amount of mulch without excessive use. The material in the mower bag is ideal for composting or disposal. When the lawn surface is covered with more than 1/2 inch of mulch, too much mulch on the lawn will cause thatch. This also applies to newly sprouted lawns. Cover it to promote growth, not kill it! Make sure not to spread too much mulch and prevent proper air circulation around the growing grass.

raised garden bed

You may have guessed that grass dust is the best cover for lawn. Each mowing will add nutrients to the lawn, which will become a valuable resource in the coming months. Every time you cut grass in spring, you should reapply a thin layer of grass cutting to continuously increase the benefits of coverage. Although the leaf cover can also be used here, it needs to be finely chopped to prevent killing the grass below. It can produce a thick thatch that needs to be inflated.

The best covering for non grassland courtyard

What if you don't want to plant lush green grass, but want to reduce weed growth in dry land landscape or other style of courtyard landscape?

In this case, the chip of arborist is our favorite solution. The arborist's chips slow the evaporation of water and prevent dirt from drying or cracking. They can also prevent erosion, which can be a huge problem in arid landscapes like this. But they are not the only solution. Inorganic coverings such as pea gravel or pumice are also very effective and look great. Select the option that best suits your settings and future goals.

Scatter the wood chips of the arborist in the yard, make a few small piles of mulch, and then use the back of the bow rake to spread them to the depth you like. Four to six inches of mulch will retard the growth of most weeds and maintain soil integrity.

raised garden bed

How to put a cover on an elevated bed

If you have a bulge that has produced a lot for many years, the mulch will add nutrients to the soil, which may be exhausted due to continuous production. It also contributes to soil water conservation and is a form of erosion control.

Before replanting, determine the square feet of elevated beds to determine how much coverage is appropriate. A thick layer of any mulch takes more time to decompose than a thin layer. To apply the covering in the layer above the newspaper and/or cardboard, use a trolley and shovel, or just use a bucket and spread it by hand. In larger beds, rakes can be used to layer soil amendments and mulch. You can also consider covering before planting.

Alternatively, the cover may be thinly placed in an existing bed around the established plant. Either pile mulch in flower beds or vegetable gardens and spread it by hand, or use a rake to spread it between plants. Make sure not to cover the plant stems directly, as this will prevent irrigation from reaching the roots. Instead, leave an inch or so between the cover and each plant.

raised garden bed

Although covering around plants is very useful to prevent weeds and lock in water, covering is not good for beds where seedlings live. This is because seedlings need a lot of air circulation to develop strong roots, so as to produce healthy leaves.

Optimum covering for elevated beds

For most elevated beds, a combination of straw mulch, compost, and sometimes newspaper or cardboard layers works best. Whether to use one or all depends on the specific situation.

How to spread the cover in the built-in garden bed

Built in beds not only benefit from the nutrition of organic materials that are disseminated once or twice a year, but also gain aesthetic appeal in this process. Similarly, spread the mulch before planting established plants, or wait until the plants on the bed are mature enough to lay the mulch. In this case, a coarse covering such as hardwood or pumice rock is a good choice. It is entirely possible to add materials around the yard (and pay more attention to ecology), such as fallen leaves. Remember that organic materials feed nutrients into the soil, while inorganic mulch does not.

Determine the square feet of built-in bed (whether it is flower bed or vegetable production). Collect your garden coverings, whether dead leaves or leaf fragments, pine needles, wood chips or inorganic materials. Use a trolley or bucket to transport the material to the bed for covering.

raised garden bed

A small pile of mulch is formed around the plants and shrubs, and the whole bed is covered with stacked materials, leaving a small space between the plant base and the mulch. In established gardens, the small rake is a good tool because it allows you to stand when spreading the cover. The steel tooth rake is an excellent tool for collecting leaves to put into perennial flower beds or flower beds. If leaves are your preferred cover, the blower can help you stack them quickly.

Best covering for built-in garden beds

Since built-in beds require more weed control and moisture than other beds, chopped wood chips are the best source of mulch. Mix old mulch with tree litter (such as leaves and bark) in the front or back yard. One thing to consider is whether you have encountered pest problems in the garden in the past. Insects sometimes winter in the leaves and bark from the trees they invade. Consider this when you throw mulch on annual flower beds and flower beds.

How to cover around trees

To cover around trees, use wood mulch or leaves. Chopped bark and tree fragments can not only stop existing weeds, but also prevent weeds from growing. As the mulch decomposes around the bottom of the tree, the soil improves and retains moisture. Pine needles are a good choice, especially around pine trees.

raised garden bed

Calculate the amount of material required to apply a minimum of 2 inches of coating around the tree base. Apply a maximum of 4-6 inches. Get the materials and drag them using a trolley or small container. They are then stacked around tree trunks and the material is raked into thin slices. Make sure there is a minimum of 6 inches of clearance between the trunk and the material. Steel tooth harrow is very suitable for spreading materials. Re apply the cover every year.

How to spread the covering to form a path

Because the passage should be free of weeds, some kind of barrier should be used to stop them. In this case, landscaping fabric is the most effective, it is not as easy to decompose as newspaper or cardboard. The latter two are also effective barriers, replacing the landscape beautification structure. First mark your covered sidewalk. Level the ground with a shovel. After the ground is properly leveled, the barrier shall be laid and fixed with ground nails or rocks if necessary. Then apply the required materials in piles with a shovel and rake them into a uniform layer. Good 6 inches is a cohesive path. Although wood is an excellent material for the passage, things like peas and gravel may increase the colorful accent. Wood is very useful for those who want to use old mulch in composting. Over time, more natural materials will decompose and must be reapplied to achieve the same effect.

Obstacles or no obstacles?

Although obstacles make sense when building paths, they may not always be the best choice. Especially in areas where beneficial insects cannot reach shrubs and vegetables due to barriers, please avoid placing one. Usually, in the area where you have planted plants, the thick covering will fully restrain weeds. Although sometimes it is most meaningful to lay the covering in a thin layer, the material can be your barrier rather than beautifying fabrics, cardboard or newspapers. Therefore, before deciding to set obstacles, consider what the purpose of the garden is.

raised garden bed

common problem

Q: What is the fastest way to spread the cover?

A: It depends on the situation, but it is easiest to spread the cover with a bow harrow. In smaller areas, the hands can work normally.

Q: How do you prepare the ground before covering?

A: Remove any weeds from the bed and ventilate the garden surface.

Q: Is it easy to cover?

A: Of course! It takes only a little time and effort to produce great results.