Posts Tagged With: fall garden clean-up

Fall Checklist Part 3: How to Layer Mulch for the Winter

Part 3. Mulching Your Fall Garden

For part three of our Fall Checklist for Winter 2014, we’re talking mulch: whatever material you cover your flower beds with, we cover mulch basics to help you select which one will work best in your landscape.

What does mulch do?

Mulching keeps weeds at bay, preserves moisture in the soils and adds a finishing touch to any garden bed or landscape.

What types of mulch are available?

  1. Rock mulch. The most permanent. Rocks won’t fade, wash out, blow away or decompose. It’s an ideal mulch for low maintenance landscapes.
  2. Wood bark mulch. The most common. Bark is inexpensive, looks very natural and is easy to apply, especially if you are planting annuals or bulbs on a regular basis. However, they do decompose over time, and need to be replaced with a new layer
  3. Pine straw mulch. Great for hydrangea, azalea and rhododendron beds. Pine straw slowly acidifies soil once it’s laid in place.
  4. Cocoa hull mulch. One of the more exotic, cocoa hulls are a byproduct of the chocolate industry, smell great and are good for the soil. One warning, dogs often eat cocoa hulls, which can make them sick.
  5. HydroStraw hydro seeding mulch. A new alternative to wood, paper and cellulose mulches. HydroStraw is made in the USA and specially formulated with renewable natural fibers, tackifier and other additives that provide more coverage, more quickly. In addition, you’ll use less water.

How do you apply mulch?

Start by spreading mulch by hand in between plants, using a rake in more open areas, then layer mulch at least two to three inches deep. For every 100 square feet of area, that equates to about 10 to 12 bags of wood mulch.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with wintering your gardens. From wheelbarrows to shovels and everything in-between, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

Categories: Fall Checklist, Gardening and Lawn Care, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fall Checklist Part 1: Garden Clean-up & Winterization

Fall Garden Checklist - Part 1

Welcome to our Fall Checklist for Winter 2014! While fall weather is still crisp but cool – and the ground is not yet frozen – we’re going to help you tackle cleaning up your garden.

Step 1. In addition to removing spent blooms and shriveled leaves, cut back, break up and remove any foliage that looks diseased. How do you spot foliage that’s been attacked by disease? Look for bugs, leaves that are eaten away as opposed to succumbing to fall color or lint-like growth and coatings on stems and foliage. Cutting out any disease, or the entire plant, will prevent the offending condition from staying viable, known as “overwintering,” and making it less likely to attack in the spring.

Step 2. During a dry fall, water trees, shrubs and especially evergreens deeply, so they stay hydrated during the dormant winter season.

Step 3. Amend the soil in your garden beds by spreading them with a couple of inches of organic compost, which breaks down over the winter to reveal healthy, nutrient-rich planting material when the snow melts. This is especially effective for sand or clay soils.

Step 4. Apply a layer of mulch to perennial plants, after the soil freezes and daytime temperatures dip below 32 degrees. The winter mulch protects them from chilly air, fast freezes, wind and weather.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with wintering your gardens. From wheelbarrows to shovels and everything in-between, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

Categories: Gardening and Lawn Care, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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