How Much is Too Much Mulch?

How Much Mulch is Too Much?

Ever wonder if you’re killing your plants with mulch? I know, you think more is better.  You’re keeping the weeds down or whatever. But are you putting down too much?

For flower beds, spread the mulch about 2 inches deep. That should be deep enough to keep out most of the weeds but not so deep that it’s likely to kill the plants. And it’s plenty deep to keep the moisture in so you won’t have to water so much. Be careful not to bury the crowns of your plants or mound it around the root. Mulch that’s too deep is the equivalent of planting too deep. It also keeps nitrogen and oxygen from the plant.

For trees and shrubs you can put 3 to 4 inches of mulch but don’t put it right up to the bark. Make that area about 2 inches thick.

If you’ve got a grassy area that you want to cover over with mulch don’t expect the grass to die just because you’ve added a couple inches of mulch – it will still grow through. You can to do a couple of other things to make sure the grass dies. First, spray with RoundUp or some other herbicide. Or you can lay newspapers or landscape fabric to keep weed seeds down and put the mulch on top. Either way works beautifully!