If you love the idea of having a vibrant garden but don't favor the concept of spending countless hours weeding, buying mulch in bulk and distributing it around the plants can be the answer. Mulch is available in a wide range of colors and materials, which means that you'll have no trouble finding the right look to suit your garden. While an expert at your local gardening center can answer any questions you may have about the use of mulch, here is some information to keep in mind as you move forward with transforming your garden in this manner.
Start With Leaves
Many gardeners who favor mulch apply a layer of leaves over their gardens before adding the mulch. There are a few benefits to this approach. Distributing leaves on top of your garden provides an extra layer of material to stifle the growth of weeds, but also provides valuable nutrients for the garden as the leaves decompose. Finally, leaves are ideal for helping to keep the moisture trapped inside your garden. This, in addition to the use of mulch, can mean that you won't need to water the garden quite as often. When you distribute leaves on your garden, make sure they don't contain any seed pods, as this will prevent small trees from sprouting.
Apply Your Mulch
Regardless of the style of mulch you opt for, you can begin distributing it right on top of the leaves — or, if you haven't gone the leaf route, right on the garden itself. The general rule for distributing the mulch is to keep its depth between two and three inches. Exceeding this guideline can stifle the growth of your plants. It's simplest to dump shovel loads of mulch on the garden and then distribute it with your hands instead of a rake. The use of your hands poses less risk of damage to your plants than a garden tool.
Water The Garden Thoroughly
Once you're satisfied with the look of your mulch on the garden, it's time to water the garden thoroughly. There's no magic duration for watering, given that the moistness of your garden can vary considerably before you begin. A good rule of thumb, however, is to put the sprinkler on the garden so that the water is applied gradually. After the sprinkler has been on for a while, turn it off, move some of the mulch and leaves away and stick your finger in the earth. If it's still dry, continue to water until you're able to confirm that the earth is moist.