How To Apply Mulch

landscape with rubbermulch

Whenever people talk about gardening basics, watering, fertilizing, and weeding instantly come to mind. Today, mulching has become an integral part of it. Its benefits go beyond prettifying a garden, because it offers significant reduction in weed presence, unparalleled moisture retention in soil, and keeping erosion at bay.

Of course, these benefits are present only if mulching is done right. If it’s your first time to mulch, here are some important steps to take.

First, choose the right mulch for your gardening needs. Some gardens need a lot of “movement”, as with vegetable patches and perennial plants. If the soil needs to be regularly composted, you will do best with organic mulches like grass, bark, and leaves. A semi-permanent gardening set-up can benefit from inorganic mulches like stone and shredded rubber.

It’s also a good idea to take weather conditions into consideration. For instance, windy days can blow away light pine needles, sawdust, and straw and make a mess instead of a neat garden.

Secondly, weed. Pull out all visible weeds, and take extra care not to scatter any spores from unwanted plants. Rake the area carefully, then spread a weed barrier over the soil to further prevent weeds from penetrating the mulch.

Next, calculate how much mulch you will need. You can avoid overspending or running out of mulch too soon. The appropriate mulch depth is at two inches, so if you’re mulching a six-feet by three-feet flower bed, you will need around three cubic feet of mulch.

Label newly-planted seeds. Use popsicle sticks with the names of the plants on them.This will keep your garden organized and easier to maintain should specific plants have special gardening needs. You would also want to avoid mulching over the seeds because they need space to grow.

watering plants

Then water all plants prior to mulching. All the plants, young or old, that you want to protect with mulch need to be watered before applying mulch on their bed. This is also the best time to add fertilizer.

Apply mulch carefully over the soil. Let the mulching begin! Take a trowel and carefully spread mulch in a two-inch depth over the weeded area. Take extra care not to pile up mulch at the base of plants because it can smother them. If mulching near fully grown trees, leave at least a diameter of three feet around the base mulch-free. If you want to smoothen out the mulch further, use a garden rake.

Now you have a garden that retains moisture and fertilizer in the soil and roots where it needs them most – and you won’t have to worry about replenishing mulch everyday!

Resources:

http://northcoastgardening.com/2009/06/organic-gardening-101-mulch/

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/yard/mulch/how-to-mulch/

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/lay-down-mulch-48172.html

 

Will Rubber Mulch Hurt Plants?

plants in mulch

Rubber mulch has been around long enough to become a mainstream option for gardens and landscaping, but people are still debating about whether or not it’s actually beneficial to plants. Before investing in it, it’s perfectly fine to ask yourself if it will hurt your plants or actually enhance your garden. Let’s look at some important points regarding rubber mulch.

Rubber mulch protects plants from insects and weeds

Wood attracts termites, and other organic matter such as sand, leaves, or grass clippings can easily become homes and food to insects and rodents. Because rubber mulch is synthetic, it is unattractive to pests. It also doesn’t offer anything for weeds to thrive on – they will dehydrate before they even have a chance to wreak havoc on your plants.

It insulates the soil and regulates plant temperature

Even in very cold weather, rubber mulch can help keep your plants snug and warm down to the roots. On the other hand, it also does a good job of protecting the soil and roots from too much heat in high temperature weather.  

It enhances the potency of fertilizers and water

Since it doesn’t absorb water or fertilizers the way organic mulches do, your plants and soil get full nutrients. The soil under the mulch doesn’t dry up but stays moist for your plants to thrive on.

It can help neutralize soil with high alkalinity

Alkali soil have low infiltration capacity so it needs zinc for plants to grow. Rubber mulch can offer a solution by way of its inherent zinc content which the soil can absorb in increments. This is especially beneficial to long-rooted plants, which can get both zinc and all the fertilizer they need.

No tree is killed to manufacture rubber mulch

It might sound trite, but the very purpose of shredded rubber infill is to recycle old tires and prevent overflowing landfills after all. Trees and plants don’t have to be sacrificed to become mulching material. Recycling is the heart of rubber mulch manufacturing – an environmentally conscious move that is hard to ignore even with all the controversies surrounding it.

The bottom line is, doing careful research can help you decide if rubber mulch is the best option for your garden. More studies are being done on it, so it’s wise to keep yourself updated on the latest findings.

 

How to Have a Beautiful Winter Garden

brown banner with text on it

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…and nowhere else is this more obvious than in your garden! ‘Tis the season to get chilly, but wintertime can also become a picturesque backdrop for memorable gatherings when done right.

 

Echo outdoor winter elements in your interior decor

 

Plan your get-togethers in winter carefully by coordinating details inside and outside the house. It will make your home look harmonious and welcoming. If you aren’t big on the usual Yuletide palette (bright red, green, and gold), patterns (plaids and doilies), and decor (Christmas ornaments), you can play around with color, texture, and other details of winter instead. Take inspiration from your own garden to make your interiors just as lovely as nature makes the outdoors.

Stick to a minimalist winter palette such as pale blues, silvers, and whites for big elements like rugs, curtains, and pillow covers. Consider snowflake patterns or fluffy fabrics to echo snow. Then add a few pops of winter-inspired color from your garden- the bright red of berries or poinsettia, the green of fir, or the burnished gold of pine cones- with accessories and small decorative touches all over the place.

 

Highlight the qualities of winter blooms and trees

 

Wintertime may not wear as colorful and vibrant a cloak as autumn, but with a few well-chosen plants, it can be equally as gorgeous. The key is to work not just with visuals, but with the other senses, as well. For instance, the boldly-textured bark of silver birch and cherry trees can add a tactile element to your garden. You can wrap fairy lights on their trunks or drape paper lanterns on their branches to highlight them.

Another trick to having a beautiful winter garden is to make it obvious that you have one even if it’s covered in snow. How to do this? Select aromatic plants! Jasmine, daphne, gardenias, and Stargazer lilies give off exquisite scents especially in the clean, crisp air of winter because they are not competing with the aromas of spring or summertime.

 

Create cozy corners

 

Bring out the flickering tea lights in glass containers or floating candles in their vessels, because nothing can cozy up your home more than winter and a warm glowing nook. Those unlit corners of your patio, porch, or gazebo  will give off a welcoming glow with a bit of candlelight (consider LED tea lights if you’re worried about open flames). If it gets too cold to appreciate your winter garden outdoors, view it through a fairy lights-framed window seat instead.

 

Prettify your pathways (while making them slip-proof)

 

Outdoor safety can be a thing of beauty, too. You can line up your pathways with landscape lights so you won’t slip or trip on anything going home. Choose prettily shaped LED path lights or solar powered ones if there’s enough sunlight to charge them – this way, even if they are on all night, you won’t have to worry about high electric bills.

While you’re at it, consider lining your paths with rubber mulch. It won’t freeze in cold weather because it doesn’t absorb water, and because it’s made of rubber, will provide enough traction as you walk confidently through your winter garden.

 


Resources:

http://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/home-garden/gardening/ideas/how-to-create-a-beautiful-winter-garden

http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/garden/516804/How-to-create-your-own-spectacular-winter-garden

http://www.thedailynewsonline.com/bdn05/master-gardener-try-these-fragrant-flowers-for-christmas-20151208

 

 

Get More Mileage Out of Your Mulch!

One of the most common questions we are asked is “If I use 10 yards of wood mulch each year how much rubber mulch do I need?”

Unfortunately, no one can accurately answer that question as we don’t know exactly how thick the wood mulch was applied last, was it applied at a uniform depth, and if comparing to bags what size were the bags of wood mulch?Rubber Mulch calculator and estimator

Installing rubber mulch in a landscape is much like installing stone or decorative rock.  The difference between 2 inches deep and 3 inches deep will affect coverage by as much as 30%.  This is precisely why we ask for the square footage you would like to cover.

Measuring landscape beds or playground areas with curved or scalloped borders can seem daunting at first; but luckily we have a 3 step EZ Measure tutorial on our website.

You can save money on a playground rubber mulch installation by rounding the corners and keeping the rubber mulch areas confined to the safety zones under the play area.

No matter which type of installation you are measuring for, always try to create geometric shapes out of your areas by breaking it into smaller pieces.  Either use circles which can be calculated using 3.14 x radius squared, or squares and rectangles using length x width. Tally the total of all areas and then head to one of our handy rubber mulch calculators: landscape or playground to determine how much rubber mulch you need.

We always offer the best pricing we can.  That’s why we price most products by state…..take advantage of bundled product pricing too at www.shop.everlastrubbermulch.com