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Mulching, top tips for choosing and applying mulch the right way

Mulch, a gardeners BFF!  

It’s that time of year to clean, weed and mulch. Mulch is the best! There’s nothing like a freshly mulched bed. The rich color, the earthy fragrance. Last year, my neighbor got her mulching done before I did, and I coveted her mulch.  Is that strange?

Let Twin Oaks do the mulching for you

Twin Oaks Landscape applies a thick layer of fresh mulch for contrast, beauty and protection

How thick should your layers of mulch be?

So, for you mulch-o-files like me, you know what to do. You know that 3” thick is the key to suppressing weeds and keeping soil moisture from evaporating. More than that is suffocating your plants. Be sure to keep the mulch away from trunks and the base of plants.

But still, you want to know more. Are there top tips for mulching? What kind is best? What color? How much to order if you’re a DIY mulcher.

We use triple-ground hardwood mulch. The rich dark brown color looks great and is all natural. Other mulch colors are OK too, but be aware that they contain dyes to achieve the color. Cedar mulch is a natural deterrent for many insects and garden slugs, but is more expensive and sometimes hard to find.

Figuring out how many yards of mulch you need

The math: multiply the length and width of each bed in feet, total up all the square footage, multiply times .25 (3” equivalent in feet), then divide by 27 (because there are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard). That number is the amount of cubic yards of mulch that you will need.

A typical suburban house has about 1,000 square feet of beds. You may have more or less.  So 1,000 square feet amounts to 9.25 cubic yards of mulch needed. Or, if you do the 2 cubic foot bags, that’s 125 bags. That’s a heapin’ helpin’ of mulch, when you consider that your average full size pickup truck holds less than a cubic yard and no way a pick up can do 125 bags.

Let the mulching begin! Or you can call us. Because our trucks are bigger, and we love to mulch.


Brenda Sunseri, CNLP
Lead Designer, Twin Oaks Lawn & Landscape
New York State Certified, Nursery & Landscape Professional

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