Do you remember back when I transplanted those shrubs from the front yard to the side of the driveway? Well, everything is going well, except for the fact that the soil I planted everything in is extremely fertile for weeds. I had a little forest growing within a few weeks.
I finally got my butt out there about a week ago and weeded the whole garden. Weeds will only stay down for a short time unless you do something about them. Also, in the garden, I noticed some small plum shrubs getting very dry leaves. That was caused by the very dry soil.
The problem is that every time I tried to water the shrubs when the ground was dry, the water would run right off the dirt. It was very frustrating. This stopped the shrub roots from receiving the much needed water. Also, the soil that the water did soak into dried very quickly from the hot sun.
There really was only one thing to do…mulch. Yesterday, I went out and bought about a yard of mulch just for this occasion. This morning, I did what I had to do.
First, let me explain the benefits of mulching a flower bed.
– Mulch keeps down weeds – prevents germination of many weed seeds
– Mulch keeps the soil moist in between rainy periods and hidden from the hot sun
– Mulch looks really good and accents your garden areas
– Mulch breaks down to add organics to your soil
– Mulch moderates the soil temperature
– Mulch protects the soil from the impact of raindrops that cause hardening
– Mulch encourages the growth of earth worms and other beneficial organisms
– Mulch keeps your plants clean by inhibiting soil splatter when it rains
– Mulch helps the rain water soak into the ground slowly so it doesn’t run off
With all these benefits of mulching, I was very eager to get started. Here are some photos of the process…
This is the before shot of the area I mulched. As you can see, I started digging the beginning of it when I remembered the I had to get the camera. Sometimes I am so excited to get going that I forget one of the reasons I am doing it…PICTURES!!!
With a pointed shovel, I edged the entire garden area. I put the shovel about half way into the soil and then just slid it under the grass to peel it up like a carpet. I then put the grass and extra soil into the wheelbarrow to dump on a rocky area that needs soil and grass. I am hoping if I spread it out, it will grow.
I dug the area to be mulched so it’s about four inches below the dirt the grass is growing in. That makes edging later on a heck of a lot easier.
I spread the bags of mulch out where I thought I would need them. When I got to each bag, I ran a knife up the side of each one. This made it a lot easier to pour where I needed the mulch. For this project, I used 27 cubic feet of mulch. I was about 15 cubic feet short.
This is the mulched garden area. As I mentioned above, I was about a half yard short of mulch. I like to put it about three inches thick. I had to spread it thin because there just wasn’t enough. I think I am going to wait until Spring to finish. It is a lot easier when all the plants aren’t in the way.