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View Full Version : What is the best way to remove old mulch!


woodlawnservice
03-01-2012, 12:52 AM
Like title says what have you guys found to be the fastest way. We are changing colors of mulch rhi year an want to remove all the old mulch and replace with new. It's wood mulch and some of our new client it's way to thick-over 4"... Besides a standard rake and wheelbarrow, what have you found to speed it up? I've got shrubs and plants I've got to work around as well. These are not bare beds with nothing in them. Thanks
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LawnMan19
03-01-2012, 02:43 AM
The standard rake and wheelbarrow are good, sometimes you can also use a backpack blower, but the rake and wheelbarrow are probably your best bet.

crazymike
03-01-2012, 02:46 AM
leaf vacuum if you have one. Loosen with rake and suck it up

LB1234
03-01-2012, 12:23 PM
manure fork

woodlawnservice
03-01-2012, 12:25 PM
Is the tines close enough on the fork that the mulch won't fall through?
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Smallaxe
03-01-2012, 12:32 PM
Run the blower and pick up the loose stuff... the half rotted ground cover is serving a very useful function to your landscape and what ever color it may be will be easily by the new stuff...

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
03-01-2012, 05:45 PM
Is the tines close enough on the fork that the mulch won't fall through?
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Bedding fork from Tractor Supply, great for install and removal.

Glenn Lawn Care
03-01-2012, 06:40 PM
Hard rake, pitch fork, wheelbarrow.
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sven1277
03-01-2012, 09:40 PM
We have to remove an estimated 40yds of red mulch and replace it with brown this spring. We plan on raking each bed to the front edge and using the 35hp leaf vac to do the heavy lifting. I think this will work out great.

White Gardens
03-01-2012, 09:50 PM
If..... There is no fabric underneath, you can use a tiller head on a FS90 and do it that way. I use mine to move mulch around in the spring on properties to keep the beds even. The only issue is you can't get too close to woody plants as you'll wrap the stems up in the tines.

Works great.

Or you can get the paddles for it if you think it will work.

BTLawncare
03-02-2012, 01:26 AM
Do your local dumps take the mulch if you don't have somewhere on your property to put it?

woodlawnservice
03-02-2012, 02:39 PM
I'm not for sure if they take it or not but I'm pretty sure they do. My dad has an orchard so he is always wanting the old mulch I take out since appearance means nothing to him. My clients want it to "look" good rather than its function.

ethanpls
03-03-2012, 07:23 AM
So, all the guys gave you the modest answer. Here's the expensive version. Get a new or used C4500 with a 15 foot dump body, mount a billy goat debris loader (the new 32" wide hose and 25hp subaru motor)....and affix a tube from loader to said truck, add gas and suck out the mulch. But really, it could be done with a simple burlap and your hands...how hard do you want to work?

Patriot Services
03-03-2012, 09:15 AM
Run the blower and pick up the loose stuff... the half rotted ground cover is serving a very useful function to your landscape and what ever color it may be will be easily by the new stuff...

This is the correct answer. Mulch turns into a beneficial mat of decomposed matter and surface roots from the plants. If it's really thick use a leaf rake and remove the top layer. If you apply the correct amoount of new mulch you wont have any color change issues. This why I stopped using weedblock fabric. It was actually inhibiting plant development and didn't seem to make much difference in weed control provided the bed was properly prepped in the first place.:usflag:

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
03-03-2012, 11:21 AM
This is the correct answer. Mulch turns into a beneficial mat of decomposed matter and surface roots from the plants. If it's really thick use a leaf rake and remove the top layer. If you apply the correct amoount of new mulch you wont have any color change issues. This why I stopped using weedblock fabric. It was actually inhibiting plant development and didn't seem to make much difference in weed control provided the bed was properly prepped in the first place.:usflag:

Weed block is a waste of the customers money and a pain to anyone later. I only use it if the customer doesn't listen to reason and insists.

White Gardens
03-03-2012, 03:35 PM
Only time we ever remove mulch is when there is years of layering going on and no breakdown. Basically where bad practices were used in the mulch beds.

Our mulch cycle is every 2 years. In that time, mulch is maintained by turning it in the spring to aid in breakdown. That and any good landscape that is maintained properly will loose a bit during cleanups, and things like hedge trimming.

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Florida Gardener
03-03-2012, 06:45 PM
Only time we ever remove mulch is when there is years of layering going on and no breakdown. Basically where bad practices were used in the mulch beds.

Our mulch cycle is every 2 years. In that time, mulch is maintained by turning it in the spring to aid in breakdown. That and any good landscape that is maintained properly will loose a bit during cleanups, and things like hedge trimming.

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Wow, 2years is way too long down here. It needs to be refreshed every 6 mo. IMO.
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White Gardens
03-04-2012, 01:37 AM
Wow, 2years is way too long down here. It needs to be refreshed every 6 mo. IMO.
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You don't have the frost/freeze cycles like we do. Basically you get 12 months of decomposition compared to our 7 months.

That and I wouldn't be surprised in the mulch longevity due to regional differences.

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