March Madness-Moisture and Mulch

  • In case you”re wondering what those funny looking “bags” are around newly planted trees, they are called “tree bags”. Freshly planted trees require consistent watering and this is one of the best ways to ensure the rootball gets the water it needs during this critical transition period. Another way to protect newly planted trees is with mulch. Ideally, mulch should not be layered more then two inches deep. The purpose is to control evaporation and keep nutrients in the soil. Speaking of mulch…here are some tips before you begin mulching:
  • Spring is finally upon us and while that means warmer temperatures, it doesn”t necessarily mean you need to run out and purchase pounds of mulch. The ground in your yard needs time to warm up and  mulching too early will actually slow down the warming process.  Normally, mid to late spring is the best time to put down mulch.
  • Make sure the area(s) being mulched are free of weeds.
  • Water plants first, then apply mulch.
  • Mulch helps control weed growth. It can also keep other (desirable) plants from growing, so don’t overdo it.
  • To prevent stems and bark from rotting, pull mulch away from woody stems and tree trunks one to two inches.  Also, if mulch is touching the plants, pests such as mice and slugs get a hiding place and a free meal.
  • In general, the bigger the pieces or chunks, the deeper the layer needs to be.   Smaller-sized mulches will work their way into the soil more quickly.
  • Aesthetically speaking, consider the size and style of the area where you are placing the mulch.  For example, pine bark nuggets may be too large for a bed of annuals, but perfect for an area around trees or shrubs.
  • Pathways, slopes, and areas prone to flooding or high wind need special consideration.  Mulch will not be the best product to apply here. We suggest something heavier that will stay put.
  • You may very well need to re-apply mulch in the summer (to retain moisture) and in the winter (to prevent frost damage).
  • Questions or comments? We invite you to leave them here or feel free to post on our Facebook page!treebag

How much to use?

  • A one – two inch layer of fine mulch should be sufficient, while a coarser material should be three – four inches deep. Too much of either type can suffocate your plants.
  • Coverage will vary greatly based on what type of mulch you use and how deeply it is layered.
  • One cubic yard of mulch will roughly cover 100 sq. ft. at a 3 inch depth and 160 sq. ft. at a 2 inch depth.
  • 1 cubic yard of mulch = 27 cubic feet = (9) 3 cu. ft. bags or (13.5) 2 cu. ft. bags

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