View Full Version : Mulch around individual bushes/trees...grass there, now

04-13-2011, 09:56 PM
I have a property that I am currently maintaining that I'm trying to give a little more curb appeal (it's a for-sale property that I'm hired to do the mowing and trimming for). I'm friends with the broker, and I think it would do wonders for the market-ability of the property.

Currently, there's grass/weeds (I sprayed them, today) around the bushes/trees. My question is, what's the best way to prepare these for the impending much? I can rent a bed edger (never used one). I could obviously use a shovel. Is there a product I could put down (preen?) and not do any (other) prep?

New ground for me. Thanks.

04-13-2011, 10:51 PM
Rule of Thumb... If you want it to look good, there is a basic principle to keep in mind... make it look good...

no one but you knows whatit takes to make it look good... :)

04-13-2011, 10:57 PM
Hell, if I knew what to do....I wouldn't have asked!

I know what you're saying. But, I actually haven't ever used a bed edger. I have no idea if this is an application for one (I have access). I also don't know what to treat the areas with. I just want to spruce the property up.

04-14-2011, 03:03 AM
Depending on how may linear feet you have, a foot and a spade usually works fine. As for chems....are you licensed? If not, hire a licensed applicator to treat the property. You can mark it up to the realtor, but not worth the fines if you're not licensed.

04-14-2011, 10:25 AM
I just got my license (on the 5th). Thanks.

Trust me.....you don't have to be an "expert" to get one (license). Hence this thread!

04-15-2011, 08:59 AM
I'm not a fan of weed fabric, especially under mulch but I wouldn't invest much in edging for a sale property. Just put down the fabric and a thin layer of much over the top and roundup the perimeter occasionally...
You know that mulch volcanoes are injurious to the trees I imagine... :)

04-15-2011, 12:36 PM
what licence you talking about u need a applicators licence to put chemicals down on a propery, but i would use a shovle and just finish the edge with the string trimmer and lay the mulch down how many feet do you have to edge?

04-15-2011, 01:31 PM
It's not so much the edging.....it's the entire mulch bed I'm concerned about.

I figure 600SF.

Mark Oomkes
04-15-2011, 02:13 PM
A bed edger (I would highly recommend as I subscribe to the work smarter not harder concept) will give you an edge. If there are large areas that need to be removed, a sod cutter would work better. These will give you an edge as well, but might be more difficult to use because of the root systems close to the trunks. It will reduce the need for further chemical apps though. Not eliminate, reduce.

We only had an edger for a long time, rented a sod cutter as needed. Now I have a sod cutter, bed shaper and an Echo Bed Redefiner. And use all 3 regularly.

White Gardens
04-15-2011, 10:42 PM
Use a spade and shovel to cut the sod out from around the trees and shrubs. Having killed it off first will make it easy on you.

I use a string with a loop that I attach to trees, and on the other end I attach a can of marking paint to make a good clean circle around the tree before I start spading away.

Bed edgers will make it easier on you, but you'll still need to remove extra dead sod to have room for the mulch, otherwise it will look to high in comparison to the surrounding turf.

That and with tight circles, it seems that the bed edger gets unruly and my circles tend to look oblong.

04-17-2011, 11:10 PM
white gardens, can you post a pic or tell me more about the spray paint on the string for circular beds, i would love to learn how to set it up

White Gardens
04-17-2011, 11:41 PM
Nothing special. Just wrap the string around a tree once loosely. Create a couple of loops and attach the loops with a piece of wire. The wire will make it so you can connect and disconnect it easily to move it from tree to tree.

On the can end, just wrap the string around the can and tie it just enough to hold it in place so you keep a good circle.

You just have to play with it to figure out how to make it work correctly.

04-18-2011, 11:54 PM
gonna give it a whirl....what is a good rule of thumb for making beds around large trees? if its only going to be a mulch bed with no other plantings

05-22-2011, 04:55 PM
Depends on the size of the tree. The bigger the tree, the bigger the circle.

05-22-2011, 08:14 PM
We dont even bother with the string. Take a tape measure and just walk around the tree and put a dot of paint at that measurement, then connect the dots. We generally do 1' of ring (towards each side of the trunk) for each 1" of diameter of the tree. The other day we planted 2 2" caliper crabapples. and we did a 2.5' ring all the way around (they were slightly larger than 2", you learn to guage them the more you do them.

For us, we just edge the bed with a spade usually then just cut the remaining grass out with the spade. Use it more or less like a sod cutter. Then just mulch. 1 person can edge and cut out the grass and make it look good on a 5' tree ring in about 15 minutes usually. Doesnt take that long.

I never use weed fabric. Too much of a pain and then the mulch just sits on that fabric and moves around too much for me. Plus if you try to freshen up the mulch with a pitch fork or a mulch pro, well let me say good luck.