How Deep Should Mulch Be?

June 06, 2016

a lady with a thought bubble reading how deep much should mulch be


We mulch for several reasons: to discourage the presence of weeds, encourage plant root growth, improve soil conditions, add aesthetic appeal, and maximize the effects of water and fertilizer on plants. While mulching seems like a straightforward gardening activity, there are still wrong and right ways of going about it. One of the most important ones is knowing how thick the mulch should be spread over and around a plant or flower bed.


Consider your purpose for mulching


First things, first: are you mulching for aesthetic purposes, weed control, or any other specific reason? Its purpose is a good gauge for how much mulch you’ll need, and how thickly you will be applying it. For instance, mulching to prevent weed growth requires around 2-3 inches of evenly-spread mulch on de-weeded soil. This amount is also effective enough to retain moisture in the soil and maximize the effects of fertilizer on plants.


Using mulch for mosaic-type landscaping designs require a pattern beforehand. Drawing and coloring the design can help determine the texture, size, and other volume of mulch to get (including for each color). For other specific purposes, it’s best to consult a gardener or the mulch supplier on how much to use.


Mulch according to soil conditions


If your soil is always damp and found in a low area, then too much mulch is not a good idea. Mulch that is applied in thick layers can retain excess moisture in an already moist environment, and could cause roots to rot and fungus to grow. In the same vein, an arid area with mostly dry soil doesn’t need a thick layer of mulch, either; it could bake delicate plant roots. Sloping areas need a thicker layer, around 4 inches, and a border to keep the mulch in place.


Know where to thin out mulch or avoid applying it altogether


Where NOT to mulch? Up against the base of tree trunks, for one. Piling up mulch right against tree roots is called volcano mulching because of the conical shape it takes, and also because it causes so much heat that it can kill a tree. Leaving a mulch free six-inch radius around the base of the tree will allow the roots to grow properly. Avoid heaping mulch around seedlings, too.


Quickly calculate based on the size of your garden


Most reputable mulch suppliers have customer care representatives or an online square footage calculator to help you gauge how much you need based on your garden’s dimensions. If you want to do it yourself, simply multiply your garden bed’s length by its width in feet, then divide the product by three. You will have an idea of the volume required in cubic feet if you’re aiming to cover an area with around four inches of mulch.


Also in Rubber Mulch Blog

Rubber Playground Tiles: An All-Weather Option?
Rubber Playground Tiles: An All-Weather Option?

June 13, 2019

For outdoor activities, especially ones involving young children, having the quality of truly being “all weather” is important. After all, all weather spells out safety, convenience, savings, and a lot of other benefits for users.

Read More

Rubber Mulch vs Rubber Playground Tiles: Pros and Cons
Rubber Mulch vs Rubber Playground Tiles: Pros and Cons

June 06, 2019

Parks and playgrounds are just some of the places where several factors need to be thoroughly inspected to ensure our children’s safety (and our peace of mind). Aside from meeting safety zones, doing away with all protrusion and head entrapment hazards, meeting age-appropriate equipment, and other requirements - there is the matter of having the proper protective surface installed.

Read More

Why Rubber Mulch Works Well Against Pests
Why Rubber Mulch Works Well Against Pests

March 26, 2019

Arguably one of the most coveted features of rubber mulch is that it won’t attract the usual outdoor bugs that wreak havoc on gardens and exteriors, such as ants and termites. Then there are the other creatures that are also unwelcome, including mice and snails. Aside from cedar chips which could help prevent the presence of moths, beetles, and cockroaches, very few ground cover mediums can lay claim to this.   

Read More