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View Full Version : Removing Old Mulch, No Fabric


Smallaxe
07-02-2012, 09:24 AM
I maintain perennial beds, flower beds, tree and shrub areas that people like to look at, even walk through, so over the years quite a bit of mulch material has been laid down as the plants in the bed have matured...

One year a client had an outside 'cleanup crew' come onto his property to do some kind of job, but they decided to 'clean up' all the old debris under the plantings in 'all the beds'... they got down to the dirt with their blowers and roots that were growing in the decayed mulch now lie exposed to the sun...

My question is:
How many LCO's believe that old mulch needs to be removed, down to the dirt, whether annually or occassionaly when a customer believes its time for a change???

whiffyspark
07-02-2012, 10:57 AM
Never unless there is a disease or fungus.
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jc1
07-02-2012, 08:05 PM
It would depened on the thickness of the old mulch. I have had places that were a foot thick. That needs to be cleaned out. If installed correctly mulch layer should decompose and improve the organic content of the soil.

MV Property Care
07-02-2012, 09:23 PM
do you use a weed barrior (plastic or fabric) when you lay mulch?
thanks

Snyder's Lawn Inc
07-03-2012, 12:00 AM
Every third year we clean out the mulch out the beds
On tree rings we clean out every year

Smallaxe
07-03-2012, 08:28 AM
I never use fabric under mulch, but I do use it under stone...

I like the reason of removing it if it's promoting disease and I like the reason for leaving it to decay into the soil...

What is the reason for removing it every 3 years or even annually???

andersman02
07-05-2012, 09:04 PM
only if it needs it

meaning only if it needs to be remulched and there is not enough space to lay more down (usually if theres 5-6" or more of existing mulch) even then as you know its a poor idea to remove ALL of the existing mulch unless fungus or disease is present.

Also, its our "rule of thumb" to lay down 3-5" of bark on new beds and 1-3" on existing beds depending on how much room there is. We try to never over do it as then youll have the the problem of too much when you remulch a year or so later.

Thats just our "rule of thumb"

Patriot Services
07-05-2012, 09:24 PM
Only if it interferes with the water getting through. Also if it is going to cover tree trunks or hvac, irrigation equipment.
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White Gardens
07-05-2012, 09:38 PM
I only remove if necessary, and that's generally properties that I take over.

I put my clients on a two year mulch cycle, so 99.9% of the time there is never any real buildup of mulch on properties I maintain.

It's just the houses I take over where the original LCO had been selling them mulch every year and then letting it build up over time.

.....

Smallaxe
07-06-2012, 09:25 AM
The problem I have is leaving the mulch alone when I do the Spring cleanup of pine needles and leaves... the top layers are always picked up with the rest and unless the client replaces once in a while it is soon all gone...
If I could convince the client to just leave some of the debris behind and put another thin layer over it to make it look better, it may be able to start composting into the soil... it would be simple enough to do, but now the client that I'm thinking of is about to be talked into a "Final Solution" by some professional friends and I may have to tell them I won't participate... we all know how those final solutions work and I want no involvement because when it fails it will be my fault...

Snapper12
07-06-2012, 12:29 PM
Only if it needs it, if it's crappy mulch and never breaks down it does need to be removed and replaced and with good organic mulch.

Duekster
07-06-2012, 12:51 PM
Best practice is to turn the mulch and top dress it. It should break down.

I took over an account a few years ago and the beds were about to spill over with mulch. We just turned it and put a thin layer on it. In about 2 season, back to adding a few inches mulch again....