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best practice to mulch with flowers in beds

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by gcbailey, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Posts: 2,552

    We don't do a lot of mulching, and usually when we do it's around trees or shrubs. Yesterday I had a client ask for a price on mulching, approx 6 cubic yards, of beds that are packed with flowers, everything from lilies, lavender, rose bushes, everything else....

    What's the best way to handle mulching around and in beds that are already loaded? I don't mean to be critical, but the client is a doctor of another nationality and it's his wife who is asking for this. She is one of these who asks for one thing and expects 10X more and at times it's easy to get signals crossed on what's asked and what's expected...
     
  2. Sprinkler Buddy

    Sprinkler Buddy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,187

    Probably walking bag mulch but by the sounds of it, I would pass on the whole account "expects 10X more".
     
  3. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Posts: 2,552

    It's a good account as far as mowing goes, but other stuff it's like... "why haven't you done this???".... "well, we never discussed this, only this... if you want that, then it will be $XXX more..." that type of stuff.
     
  4. ncnurseryman

    ncnurseryman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 121

    I do a fair amount of this type of mulching and we usually wheelbarrow it in and either dump then spread with a rake or in tight areas put it down by hand.
     
  5. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,937

    We've done everything from sifting with a pitchfork to placing empty one or two gallon pots over the plants, dropping in the mulch, then pulling the pots and feathering it out. One of my clients uses a guy who sends out a crew of older women who mulch the beds a Big Gulp cup at a time as he brings them wheelbarrows.
     
  6. Sprinkler Buddy

    Sprinkler Buddy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,187

    lol We all have been there! The more you do the more those kind of customers want for free. It often ends up not being that important when additional $$$ is required. lol
     
  7. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Posts: 2,552

    Here's an aerial of the property... the picture doesn't show all the flowers in-between the shrubs all in the front beds and walks.... flowers that have been allowed to go wild basically... the thing to the back of the house where the square walk way with flower garden. The entire house is nothing but a huge flower bed! haha

    shah.jpg

    shah.jpg
     
  8. blk90s13

    blk90s13 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,452

    lots of hand mulching have fun !
     
  9. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    I will chime in and say that most of my accounts, I do not install bedding plants between established shrubs much. Often these plants is separate from the established landscapes and is so by the use of edgings. The reason is the mulching depth. I would not place any more than 1/2 inch around bedding anyway.......causes excessive moisture retention and often stem disease. Established shrubbery, I will place anywhere from 1/2 inch to 3 inches. Depends if the landscape is new.
    To answer your question, you will probably benefit from wheel barrow, casting by hand, and by dumping and smearing.
     
  10. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Posts: 2,552

    Thanks for the replies and suggestions... Myself personally, I'm not a flower guy. I love trees and can handle shrubby. This is a situation where probably at one time thousands were spent on the hardscaping and plants on this property. The east and west boundaries are flanked by cherry trees and it sits on a beautiful 2.5 acres.

    Someone over time decided it would be fun to get wild flower packets and start going "wild" with them everywhere in all the planters and that's where it is now.

    So basically, there isn't going to be anything easy about mulching between all the packed in flowers... I think this is going to be a good job for my couple of college guys!
     

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