Proper way to mulch for tree and shrub care in West Valley City, UT

Springtime Mulching Best Practices in Utah

Posted : March 1, 2020

There has always been some debate in tree and shrub care circles, is it better to mulch in the fall or the spring? There are advantages to both times, but spring time is a better time for mulching if you want to cut down on the number of weeds in your garden and flowerbeds. Since most annual weeds sprout in the spring, if you block the sunlight with a thick layer of organic mulch, it will reduce the number of weeds that crop up during the year.

Proper way to mulch for tree and shrub care in West Valley City, UT

Applying Mulch as Tree and Shrub Care

Applying mulch around shrubs and trees, especially newly planted ornamental trees, is a great idea. Not only does this give the base around the trees a distinct, clean look, but also is good for the overall health of the tree. Current best practices suggest that you apply a layer of composted soil around the base of the tree, let it sit a couple of weeks and then apply 2 to 4 inches of mulch evenly distributed on top of the composted soil, around the perimeter of the tree. This helps retain moisture, regulate the soil temperature, and reduce weed growth. But don’t mulch around the base of the tree. Adding mulch up against the tree trunk itself can provide a good environment for fungus to grow and attract pests. Apply the mulch up to the point where the tree trunk meets the roots at the base of the tree, also known as a tree root flare, so that this area of the tree is mulch free.

When Is the Best Time to Mulch?

Generally speaking, you want to avoid laying down mulch in the too early in the spring. This tends to trap cold moisture in the soil, making it harder for things to grow. So, apply the mulch once the air and soil temperature begin to rise usually in mid to late spring. This will help you get the maximum bang out of your mulching buck.

Other Springtime Mulching Best Practices

Be careful not to apply too much mulch to areas where you expect seedlings to emerge. If you know where you expect them to sprout keep the mulch light and loose, giving the seedlings room to grow. You also want to keep an eye on the mulch to make sure that it doesn’t get too compacted. This is especially important in gardens and flowerbeds. Check it occasionally and stir the mulch around a bit (lightly) with a hoe or rake to allow the mulch to absorb moisture and circulate air in it. Compacted mulch can actually cause the rains to bead up on the surface and not allow it to penetrate into the soil at all.

Looking for Mulching and Other Tree and Shrub Care Services?

Mulching is just one way to protect your plants in the growing season. If you don’t want to mess with this yourself, why not give us a call? We provide comprehensive tree and shrub care services as well as flower bed design services. At Aeroscape, we also have a board-certified Master Arborist on staff. Give us a call at (801) 567-2383 or click on our Contact an Expert green arrow on any page of our website for more information.