All About Mulching + [The Ultimate Guide]

Mulching is a procedure carried on in farming, gardening, and landscaping, and that involves spreading materials over the soil’s surface. The practice has proven beneficial to plants and the soil if done properly and correctly.

Mulching helps the soil retain moisture, prevents erosion, reduces evaporation in summer, and protects plants from the winter frost. Furthermore, mulch cover suppresses weeds. What’s more? Mulches decompose to form soil particles and hence improve the soil structure, increase nutrients, and improve the soil’s drainage. Some gardening enthusiasts spread mulch on flower beds to make them more attractive and on landscapes as insulation.

Some common mulching materials are wood chips, leaves, tree barks, grass clippings, hay, straw, wood shavings, and inorganic materials like landscape fabrics and plastic covers.

Benefits of Mulching

In summary, we’ve identified the main benefits of mulching. However, to have a proper grasp of mulching, it’s essential to delve deeper into the benefits. A mulch cover is important for these reasons:

Weed Control

Weeds are a nuisance to any gardener or farmer, especially when they grow on flower beds or compete for food with your tender plants. But mulching is one of the safest ways of controlling the growth of weeds and helping you retain the beauty of your garden.

A thick layer of mulch blocks the rays of sunlight from reaching the soil, hindering the sprouting and growth of weeds.

One of the most popular mulching materials for weed control is rubber.

Do Rubber Mulch Prevent Weeds? 

Gardeners prefer rubber to other mulches due to its superb ability to suppress weeds and control the growth of fungi. Weeds cannot germinate and penetrate through this material. 

Nonetheless, rubber is not so compact. If you apply a mulch layer of fewer than 2 inches, weeds will likely find their way up.

However, it’s important to note that it can’t hinder the growth of weeds and tender plants that have already germinated. Therefore, removing any visible weeds before applying the rubber mulch is crucial.

 Additionally, it excels at insulating tender plants from excessive heat compared to wood chips or other organic mulches.

Surprisingly, rubber mulch doesn’t drift away and needs little maintenance. Because it takes a long time to break down, it needs no frequent maintenance to boost its effectiveness. It’ll look the same as when you first mulched three or more years later.

Rubber’s estimated lifespan is ten years. So, it’s one of the mulches that can last for many years before decomposition sets in.

It helps the soil retain moisture around the roots of tender plants during the hot summer season by insulating heat away from the roots. Moreover, it helps the soil maintain its temperature during the winter frost.

Nevertheless, if you live in a warm area, you may need to avoid the black rubber mulch. Due to its dark color, it has a tendency to absorb too much heat, and it may overheat the soil and kill your tender plants.

There’s a remedy to keep the weeds from growing through the rubber pieces, though. You should, therefore, lay a fabric roll on the soil’s surface and then spread the layer of the rubber material.

Conservation of Soil Moisture

When it’s very hot (during summer), the mulch cover helps the soil hold its moisture by reducing evaporation. Thus, you don’t have to water your plants so often.

On the other hand, the soil tends to dry out faster and harden when the sun is very hot. The mulch, however, helps protect the soil from baking in direct sun rays and thus hurt the plant’s roots.

Prevents Soil Erosion

The mulch cover prevents soil erosion by cushioning the topsoil against the impact of rain and reducing the runoff speed.

Protects Plants from The Winter Frost

Winter stress can kill plants. The frost makes the roots freeze and ultimately kills the plants. The mulch cover insulates the soil from the frost and helps it maintain some warmth, thus protecting the plant roots.

Adds Nutrients to The Soil

Mulches from organic materials break down over time to form part of the soil particles. The dark organic matter that’s formed—humus—makes the soil more fertile and also improves the soil’s structure for better drainage.

Making Landscapes Attractive

Landscapers use mulch cover to beautify their flower and garden beds. Mulched beds improve the overall appearance of your home.

Cushioning Children’s Playgrounds

Children’s playgrounds need a soft and bouncy cover to protect children from injuries when they fall by accident. 

Types of Mulches

Essentially, there are two main categories of mulch—organic and inorganic. Both types are useful in the garden and can play complementary roles.

  1. Organic Mulches

Organic mulching materials are naturally available, decompose over time, and thus need frequent maintenance. Since they break down over time, they release nutrients to the soil and thus improve its quality.

Examples of organic mulches are wood chips, shredded leaves, hay, grass clippings, tree bark, compost, sawdust, and pine needles.

Organic mulches are relatively cheaper than inorganic mulches. However, their long-run cost is higher since they need frequent replacement due to their fast decomposition.

  1. Inorganic Mulches

Inorganic mulches, unlike organic mulches, don’t decompose or decompose very slowly. Some are man-made, but others occur freely in nature. 

Although they don’t break down to enrich your garden’s soil, they can still provide ideal mulching options. 

Examples of organic mulches are:

  • Plastic mulch
  • Landscape fabrics
  • Crushed seashells, and 
  • Rubber mulch

What You Need to Know About Mulches

Before you start using mulch, here are some things you need to know.

Are there Unsafe Mulches?

You may have stumbled on the myths that all mulches result in healthier-looking plants, inhibit weed growth or help the soil conserve moisture. Of course, this isn’t true.

It’s the mulching material and factors like the type of soil and climate of a place that determines the mulching material’s success.

On a general assessment, inorganic mulch lasts longer than organic mulch. Nonetheless, inorganic mulch contributes very little to the quality of the soil in terms of its texture or fertility. On this aspect, it is entirely up to you to choose between organic mulch that’s replaced annually or biannually but enriches the soil and inorganic mulch that never decays but provides no nourishment to the soil.

But, the elephant in the room is whether there are unsafe mulches. Experts and gardening enthusiasts have researched the most popular mulching materials. 

Read on to see their findings.

Is Rubber Mulch Safe For Trees? 

Rubber mulch is an excellent mulch for trees since it boosts the soil’s water retention capacity and suppresses weeds. Thus, your trees can grow faster since they have enough moisture and don’t compete for food with weeds.

Rubber mulch also maintains the soil temperature by insulating it from the winter frost and high temperatures in summer.

Although it works perfectly fine when it’s fresh, after 6+ years, it starts to degrade, producing toxic chemicals. Therefore, trees mulched with rubber have a relatively shorter lifespan than those mulched with organic mulches.

Essentially, that’s where organic mulches like wood chips and pine needles beat rubber mulches as the best mulches for trees. Apart from being cheaper, they’re safer for trees than rubber.

Although rubber takes a long time to decompose, once it does, it releases toxic chemicals that contaminate the soil making the tree leaves turn yellow, and the tree growth slows down.

Is Wood Chip Mulch Good For Garden? 

One major advantage of wood chip mulch is its ability to decompose and add nutrients to the soil. Besides suppressing weeds and giving a natural rustic appearance to your garden, wood chips break down to form part of the soil particles, thus improving the soil structure.

Wood chips take 3-4 years to completely decompose and form part of the soil. They form good mulches for plants like blueberries that need acidic soils. Additionally, their rich brownish color adds some aesthetic value to your garden. 

Does Rubber Mulch Attract Snakes?

Mulch has many positive benefits to your plants and makes your garden aesthetically attractive. However, different mulching materials may create appealing habitats for dangerous animals like snakes.

Many gardeners wonder if snakes are drawn to rubber mulches. Snakes love soft and grassy environments. Therefore, rubber mulch, which is hard and bouncy, doesn’t attract snakes. Due to their soft bellies, snakes enjoy gliding on soft grass, underbrush, leaves, and pine straws since these materials don’t scratch them.

Can Rubber Mulch Be Used Around Plants

Though rubber doesn’t add nutrients to the soil, it can be used around plants. Rubber has excellent insulating properties that help moderate the soil temperature. Luckily, it doesn’t attract pests harmful to the plants.

Nonetheless, you should remove rubber mulch when it begins to decompose because it releases some toxic chemicals when breaking down.

Is Rubber Mulch Good For The Environment? 

Although rubber is nonbiodegradable, it’s eco-friendly and safe for use as mulch around plants. Since it does not absorb moisture, it allows drainage into the soil. Furthermore, it can be used in children’s playgrounds since it’s harmless.

Does Rubber Mulch Smell?

New rubber has a synthetic smell. However, there’s a misconception that some weather elements, like the sun’s heat, cause the rubber to release some odor.

New rubber mulch has a distinct smell, just as with new household items like toys, gloves, and balloons made from plastic and rubber. Nonetheless, the smell is neither too strong nor does it linger for long. Normally, it takes around 3-4 days for a fresh rubber mulch to lose its synthetic smell. 

The smell cannot last long because it’s superficial—it’s a result of treatment and the dying of the old shredded rubber tires to make the rubber mulch and fades away in days, just like the smell of paint.

So how do you get rid of the smell of rubber mulches? The best way is to spread it evenly on open ground to air it out.

The other concern about rubber mulches is whether it rots and stinks. The answer is simple, no, it doesn’t. Since it’s made from shredded tires, it’s an inorganic mulch. I mentioned before that inorganic mulches don’t decompose. Therefore, unlike wood-based mulches that decompose, producing an unpleasant odor, rubber mulch doesn’t.

Although the smell of new rubber that lasts a few days is unpleasant for some, it’s not toxic. 

What Is the Best Mulch For Farming?

Choosing the best mulch depends on what plant you’re mulching. In farming, organic mulches are the best since we’re dealing with food-producing plants. Grass clippings, straw, shredded leaves, and compost are some of the best mulches when mulching directly around the plants. These organic mulches break down quickly and supply the soil with vital nutrients needed by vegetable plants as they grow. 

Although bark and wood chip mulches are organic mulches, they’re not ideal for vegetable plants since they lower the PH of the soil and thus may be more harmful than good.

Soil temperature and moisture levels are important for the health of shrubs and trees in your garden. Large wood chips and bark mulches are ideal for such plants. Stone or pebble mulches also do well with trees and shrubs. Besides suppressing weeds, the two sets of mulches insulate the soil from extreme heat or cold.

I’ll narrow it down to the mulching of vegetables because, hey, that’s the focus of many farmers.

What Is Mulch Best for Vegetable Garden? 

The best mulch for a vegetable garden is straw, black plastic, compost, grass clippings, pine needles, and leaves.

What Is The Best Mulch For Strawberries?

Pine straw is the best mulch for strawberries because it helps the soil retain moisture. Moreover, pine straw improves the quality of soil by lowering its pH. Strawberries thrive well in acidic soils.

What Is the Best Mulch For Tomatoes?

Tomatoes thrive well in leaves, straw, grass clippings, shredded bark, or plastic mulch. The mulch should be spread around the tomatoes to give the plants stability by modifying the soil structure. 

Besides, these mulches improve the nutrient content of the soil and thus improve the tomato yield.

What Is the Best Mulch For Roses?

A properly decomposed manure, straw, or garden compost is the perfect mulch for roses. Roses need a thick mulch of 3-4 inches which should be applied during spring to prevent weed growth and retain moisture.

What Is the Best Mulch for Your Children’s Playground?

Mulched playground areas are preferred to concrete and cement ones since they have a barrier to protect children from injuries. Most experts recommend rubber, sand, and wood mulches for spreading on children’s playgrounds. 

A mulch thickness of 8-20 inches of any of these materials provides a springy surface that can absorb shocks and cushion accidental falls.

Although the sand is an inexpensive option without toxic substances, it’s hard to keep clean for long. Cat and dogs normally poop on it. Furthermore, it’s blown away by wind very easily.

Wood is another great mulch for playgrounds, provided it doesn’t contain toxic additives like chromated copper arsenate (CCA).

Rubber (tire crumb) is considered the best mulch for playgrounds due to its ability to absorb impact. Additionally, it’s durable since it doesn’t decompose and has low maintenance costs. 

Regarding safety, rubber doesn’t absorb water and thus doesn’t create a slippery puddle. For that reason, it’s the favorite mulching material for playgrounds, golf courses, and running tracks.

Can You Use Regular Mulch for Playground? 

A regular mulch with a thickness of around 12 inches can be used on a playground to absorb shocks and avoid preventable injuries. However, a regular mulch has one downside; it can hide hazardous objects like broken glass.

When choosing a regular mulch to spread on a playground, you should go for the finely chipped mulches. Large and rough chips may bruise the skin of your children. 

Besides, you should also confirm that the mulch is free from toxic chemicals like chromated copper arsenic(CCA). Your kids may be in danger if they accidentally ingest contaminated pieces of mulch.

Installing a regular mulch is a simple DIY project and requires no special expertise. Once you measure the playground and remove debris, you should lay a weed barrier fabric. The fabric insulates the regular mulch from weeds and makes maintenance easy. 

Besides, the fabric helps in draining rainwater away from the playground. Ultimately, use a rake to evenly distribute the regular mulch. A depth of 8-12 inches is ideal, although areas with more traffic like the area under swing seats require a thicker mulch.

However, replacing the old mulch with fresh mulch after 12 months is recommended. Regular mulch molds over time and makes the playground unsafe for children.

What Is the Best Mulch for Landscaping?

Essentially, landscaping involves mowing lawns, planting trees and shrubs, and pruning to make your yard or compound attractive. Professional landscapers consider the mulching of flowerbeds and the bases of trees and shrubs as an essential part of landscaping. 

Types of Mulch for Landscaping? 

Both organic and inorganic mulch can be used for landscaping. Between the two, there’s no specific best mulch for landscaping. Let’s dig deeper.

  1. Organic Mulches

The main advantage of organic mulches is that they enrich the soil with nutrients as they decompose. However, their main disadvantage is that they need frequent maintenance and replacement. 

They include:

  1. Garden Compost

Compost is highly beneficial for soil insulation during winter. Furthermore, it looks natural and blends well with the landscape. However, ensure that it’s finely broken down into small pieces before spreading. 

Compost mulch isn’t beneficial in controlling weeds because it supplies nutrients to both the plants and the weeds.

  1. Pine Needles (Pine Straw)

Pine straw is an excellent mulch for acid-loving plants like flowers. Furthermore, they are light and fluffy and thus easy to scatter. Unfortunately, their attractive auburn color changes to a nondescript silver-grey as they age.

  1. Dyed mulch

It’s ideal for those landscapers who wish to be stylish but remain organic. Dyed mulch comes in various colors—red, black, and brown. The fact that dyed mulches retain their vibrant colors longer than non-dyed mulches makes them ideal for landscaping.

  1. Newspaper or Cardboard

For landscaping, two to three layers of undyed natural cardboard or black and white newspapers form a good mulch. Colored newspapers are avoided because of their hazardous dye. 

Both newspaper and cardboard are light and need to be covered with another heavier organic material to keep them in place.

  1. Wood Chips

Wood chips are colored with an organic coating to make them attractive. Furthermore, in some cases, they’re treated to boost their ability to suppress weeds.

It’s important to note that hardwood chips are small and light and should thus not be used to mulch slopes. Otherwise, they’ll be washed away.

  1. Inorganic Mulch

Inorganic mulch excels over organic mulch in that it is durable. Unfortunately, they do not add nutrients to the soil.

  1. Rubber Mulch

Rubber is peculiar because it maintains its color for long and remains in shape more than any other mulch. It insulates the soil and keeps it cool throughout summer. On the other hand, it helps reduce heat loss in the colder months. Furthermore, it doesn’t attract destructive insects like termites as other organic mulches do.

  1. Stone mulch

A stone mulch is handy in stabilizing areas of your yard prone to erosion, like slopes and areas near a downspout. Colored stones retain their color, but they need regular cleaning so that they maintain their shine.

Although stones are expensive and don’t enrich the soil, they’ll save you the headache of re-installing them annually. Ultimately, stones absorb a lot of heat. They go well with plants whose roots can withstand high temperatures. A good example is a cactus—an arid plant.

  1. Landscape Fabrics

These are textiles laid on the surface of the soil to cut off the sun’s rays and thus keep weeds at bay. They’re used as mulches around bushes and trees.

In some cases, they’re kept under stone or gravel mulch to keep them from sinking into the soil.

Best Rubber Mulch for Landscaping

Landscapers highly recommend rubber mulches for landscaping because of their long-lasting colors and durability. Moreover, rubbers are weatherproof because they can withstand the most adverse weather conditions and remain in shape.

Though expensive, NuPlay Rubber Mulch Nugget is lauded by landscaping experts as one of the best rubber mulches for landscaping. 

It’s splinter-free, and ASTM F3012 certified. Nonetheless, Plow and Hearth 51522, Yardwise Landscape, Rubberific Brown Rubber, and Rubberrific Shredded Black Rubber are still great options that make your landscape appealing.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing Mulch

Although we’ve discussed the many mulches ideal for a specific mulching task, it’s important to highlight the main factors you should consider before buying any mulch. Here they are:

i.  Purpose of the mulch

The purpose may be weed control, enhanced soil fertility, moisture retention, or beauty. Since no mulch can effectively do all these tasks on different plants and landscapes, it’s important to consider choosing the best mulch depending on the purpose.

iI.  Variety

You should consider the variety—organic or inorganic—based on its suitability to the soil and plants. Availability also dictates the variety you choose. The right variety plays a vital role in keeping your plants healthy.

iII.  Presence of Free Mulches

For perennial beds and flower beds, you may consider using shredded leaves. When leaves fall from trees and are shredded, they work perfectly well as mulch, and there may be no need to look for another mulch if they’re available. 

Dumped wood logs also provide a good mulch for shrubs and trees.

iV.  Bagged or Bulk

Bulk mulch comes in truckloads but bagged mulch is packed in bags. Although the latter is easy to handle, it’s pricier. However, bagged mulch is suitable if you have limited storage space and are buying different mulch types for different mulch uses.

V.  Cost Of The Mulch

Bagged mulches are cheap, and are best suited for small gardens. Although bulk purchasing may consume more money, it’s the only way if the yard is large and needs a lot of mulch. It’s important to compare the prices and quality of different companies.

Factors to Consider When Applying Mulch

Although mulching is healthy for your plants and gardens, you should consider several factors like:

i.  Mode of Application

It’s of great importance to apply mulch correctly. Piling up too much mulch may cause the plants to rot and expose them to the risk of diseases. If you’re unsure of the optimal amount of mulch to apply, it’s better to consult a mulching professional.

ii.  Nutritional Value of the Mulch

Humus is formed when leaves and other organic mulch materials decompose in the soil. Therefore, if you’re looking for a mulch that will go the extra mile and enrich your garden soil, it’s important to look for an organic mulch. You can always go for an inorganic mulch if you’re not concerned about the nutritional value of the mulch.

iii.  The Texture of The Mulching Material

Whether you’re spreading mulch on a playground or in your garden, the texture of the mulch is a vital factor to consider. Experts usually recommend medium texture. Mulches with very fine particles have a problem absorbing and retaining excess water.

How to Mulch Properly

Mulching is not just a casual procedure of spreading mulch cover across your garden or farm. If done poorly, it may negatively affect the health of your plants.

For instance, according to mulching professionals, there are two cardinal rules when using mulch cover to suppress weeds. 

First, you should only spread mulch on soil that has had the weeds removed. Secondly, you have a different option of laying a thick mulch layer to hinder new weeds from coming through it.

The ideal mulch thickness to hinder the growth of weeds is 4-6 inches. Mulches like wood chips that absorb and retain moisture can cause flower stems and vegetables to rot if mulched against them. 

To avoid this, you should spread the mulch an inch away from the stems and crowns.

The same is true for the stems of trees and shrubs—if mulch is placed in contact with them, they start to rot. 

Subsequently, the rotting attracts unwanted animals like rodents. When mulching around tree trunks, you should leave a space of around 8-10 inches between the mulch and the trunk.

How to Use a Living Mulch  

Before learning how to use a living mulch, it’s important to understand what a “living mulch” is. It’s a crop planted by farmers after harvesting the food crop or when the food crop is five weeks old and acts as ground cover. 

What about its purpose? It maintains the soil moisture content and the soil temperature. Additionally, it helps limit weed competition around the main crop and prevents soil erosion by protecting the soil around the crops.

However, a living mulch can smother your main crop if the procedure is not carried out properly. It is usually planted between, around, or beneath the main (harvestable) crops. You may choose one plant species or use several plants. The main essence of a living mulch is growing to form a protective cover on the garden or farm’s soil.

After choosing your preferred timing, you can broadcast the mulch seeds or just drill them into the soil between the plant rows. You may decide to till the living mulch into the soil so that they break down fast or wait for them to go to full term and then decompose around your main crop. 

Green manure plants, marigold, basil, onions, and garlic are examples of living mulches.

How to Keep Mulch from Blowing Away

Not all types of mulch can withstand strong winds and storms. Blowing away mulch decreases its benefit to your plants. Besides, it leads you into costs that you had perhaps not budgeted for.

Thus to avoid the ugly scenario of your mulch being blown away, you may hedge your garden or even choose a heavy mulch that can resist the force of the wind. 

If the mulch is relatively light, you may stick it together with a mulch lock to keep it intact on the soil. Shredded mulch, pine straw, nuggets, and chips are some of the best mulching materials if you’re looking for a mulch that can withstand strong winds. 

On the other hand, hedging your garden may involve planting a row of plants like monkey grass to slow down the wind or using solid barriers like stones and plastic with enough height to hold the mulch. 

Ultimately, you may spray mulch lock—a whitish liquid that compacts mulches—to keep the mulch in its place, especially the one spread on slopes. 

Can You Till Mulch Into Soil?

Yes, you can cover mulch with soil so that once it decomposes, it adds humus to the soil and thus improves its fertility. Tilling the mulch into the soil modifies the soil structure and thus improves its drainage and aeration.

However, you first need to remove all debris from your garden. Subsequently, spread the mulch evenly and then mix it with the soil into about 2- inches of the topsoil, using a shovel. If the soil is hard, you may water it first.

Which Mulch Works Well For Clay Soils?

The best mulch for clay soil (sticky soil) is one that breaks its soil structure and improves aeration.

What’s the Best Mulch for Clay Soil?

Shredded leaves are the best mulching materials for clay soils due to their numerous benefits. Their presence in clay creates a welcoming environment for soil organisms like earthworms that form aeration channels as they burrow their way through the soil. The channels created in the soil layers break its structure.

Shredded leaves decompose quickly and add organic matter to the clay soil. Other mulch alternatives that can improve the structure of clay soil are sawdust, compost, straw, and wood chips.

How Long Can Mulch Last?

Organic mulch normally lasts about 5- 6 years. However, several factors like the type of mulch and the weather of your locality may force your mulch to last 1-2 years, after which a replacement is important.

Inorganic mulches decompose slowly or fail to decompose at all. For these, a routine replacement isn’t necessary. For instance, you won’t need to buy new stones or landscape fabric every year for your garden beds. Depending on the inorganic mulch you’re using, you may go for at least five years without needing a replacement or replenishment. 

How Long Does Rubber Mulch Last? 

Rubber mulch usually lasts over ten years. Stunningly, rubber mulches never encounter fading problems, break down slowly, and maintain their appeal for a long time.

Moreover, the dye pigment applied to rubber during mulch production gives the rubber a new color and prolongs its lifespan to 12 years.

Mulch Maintenance

Eventually, all mulch cover decomposes and reduces in depth or thickness. Therefore, the benefits that a mulch is placed for, like preventing weeds and soil erosion, start dwindling. When this happens, you’ll need to replace the mulch with a fresh cover.

As we’ve seen, a typical organic mulch takes around five years to decompose fully. However, the time may be shorter depending on the type of mulch, sun exposure, rainfall amount, and weather conditions. The best thickness range for the mulch cover is 2-3 inches. 

If it rots and falls below that range, it’s time to change it. Landscapers who apply mulch for its aesthetic value only need to change the mulch when the color fades.

What to Do With Old Mulch?

You must be wondering what expert farmers do with the old mulch once they gather it up. First, an old mulch may be diagnosed by its texture—a fine texture and crumbs that fall apart easily indicate a “tired” mulch.

 A common practice is taking the mulch to a biodegradation site so that fungi and bacteria can completely break it down. However, leftover mulch can be used for soil amendment or reused as compost on the farm.

How To Get Rid Of Rubber Mulch

The fact that rubber—an inorganic mulch—doesn’t decompose and is also highly flammable confuses many farmers on its best way of disposal. You, however, need not worry because rubber is environmentally friendly; thus, you shouldn’t throw it away. 

Since it’s safe for flowers and pets, you can compost it. Even so, you’ll need to chop it into small pieces for this.

If that’s not in your plans, you can dispose of it at the waste center. Ultimately you can burn rubber into ashes if you don’t think you’ll need it again. Nonetheless, you’ll need protective gear since the burning process emits hazardous smoke.

When Is The Best Time To Mulch?

The best times to mulch are middle and late spring or at the onset of winter(after the first frost). You may create problems for your plants if you mulch too late or too early.

Mulching during the mid and late spring season is ideal for helping the soil conserve moisture for the next hot summer season. 

Moreover, weeds sprout between mid and late springtime, and the mulch should be placed just before they sprout. Mulching too early into the spring slows the soil’s warming up process from the cold winter.

On the other hand, mulching in winter is vital to help plants survive the winter stress. However, the mulch should be laid after the first frost so that the natural “plant dormancy” process is not prevented, leading to the death of the plant due to skipping the hibernation process.

How Soon Can I Mulch After Spraying Roundup?

Roundup is a herbicide that kills weeds. Experts advise that it’s appropriate to wait for one week after spraying Roundup to spread your mulch.

How to Estimate the Amount of Mulch You Need

If you’re using yards to estimate the amount of mulch you need, then it’s important to note that an area of around 324 square feet needs one cubic yard of mulch cover, assuming that the depth(thickness) is one inch. 

Therefore, to estimate the amount of mulch needed, you use the formula: Square foot X mulch depth(inches)/324.

Not to worry, though, if you lack time for too many calculations. You can use the mulching calculator to estimate the amount of mulch needed in terms of feet or yards.

What’s the Estimated Shelf life of mulch?

Due to convenience, you may prefer buying mulch in bags. But your biggest concern would be, how long can mulch last in a bag until you’re ready to use it, or when it’s time?

How Long Does Mulch Last In A Bag?

Mulch stored in a bag can last indefinitely. However, leftover mulch needs to be kept in a dry and sealed storage to keep away pests and mold and keep it from going sour. 

Under the proper storage, bagged mulch can last until the next season, around 3-6 months.

Is Mulch A Threat To The Well-Being Of Your Pets?

When thinking about the types of mulch to bring to your landscape or garden, it’s normal to ask yourself, “is this material safe for my pets?”

Most farmers worry most about their dogs due to their curious nature.

Is Rubber Mulch Safe For Dogs? 

It’s very likely that your dog pets will munch on the pieces of rubber mulch that you spread in your garden. Although rubber is harmless to dogs, it can create a digestive obstruction, especially if the pieces are quite chunky. 

It’s important to train your dog to refrain from eating mulch and employ some physical preventive measures. Close supervision is also vital.

What’s the Best Mulch for Dog Poop Area

Since dogs hate getting their paws wet, an absorbent, soft, and aromatic mulch like cedar shavings, cedar chips, or aspen shavings create a good mulch for your dog’s poop area.


i.  Does Rubber Mulch Hold Moisture?

Rubber is non-porous and thus unable to retain moisture. However, the water from rain and irrigation passes through the rubber mulch and reaches the ground beneath, keeping it moist and cool.

ii.  Does Rubber Mulch Attract Termites? 

Rubber is inorganic and hard and thus doesn’t attract termites. Moreover, frequent turning over and moderate watering can help keep termites off.


It may take volumes and volumes to exhaust everything about mulching. Nonetheless, the article you’ve just read has all the pointers to guide you towards what you want to learn about mulching.

Always remember that mulching has impressive benefits for your plants, landscapes, and children’s playgrounds. However, the kind of mulch you choose, how you install it, and how well you maintain it has a bearing on the success or failure of the mulching process.