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How often should you mulch?

Discussion in 'Industry Surveys & Polls' started by FoghornLeghorn, Apr 5, 2014.

?

How often should/do you mulch?

  1. Once per year

    29 vote(s)
    61.7%
  2. Twice per year

    16 vote(s)
    34.0%
  3. Three times per year

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. 4 times per year

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Mulch? What's mulch?

    2 vote(s)
    4.3%
  1. FoghornLeghorn

    FoghornLeghorn LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 750

    I have a large commercial site I maintain. Twice a year, we remulch the whole place (8 parks of varying sizes). Every time we mulch, we use between 1800-2400 bags of mulch.

    Don't ask why we use bags. We do it because it's faster, easier, cleans up easier, and we don't want Bobcat tracks everywhere tearing our parks up.

    Anyway, I have a "know-it-all" Board Director who thinks of himself as a landscaper (has a truck with a small zero turn and a few weedeaters.) He saw us remulching yesterday and asks why I'm already remulching, since we just did it 6 months ago. I explained that we do it twice a year, and that's been that way for the last 9 years.

    His position was that twice a year is excessive. Once is enough. I know it's not, and I could give him all the benefits of having a 3" layer of mulch (moisture retention/weed suppression/etc)

    My distributor printed on their bags "Apply an initial layer of 3-4 inches, and replace 1-2 inches every season". That tells me that the supplier recommends 4 mulchings per year. I do twice a year to save my clients money.

    What say you, fellow Lawnsiters?
     
  2. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,715

    I thought a season was a year....... might be wrong?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  3. FoghornLeghorn

    FoghornLeghorn LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 750

    Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. a year has 4 seasons.
     
  4. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,715

    I think you're taking it a little to literally.

    That would mean 8" of much per year?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. FoghornLeghorn

    FoghornLeghorn LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 750

    Or if you just replenish 1 inch 4x/year, that's 4 inches. Anyway, we're splitting hairs here. Some wet coastal areas would definitely go through 4-8 inches of mulch per year, especially a high-cellulose species of hardwood mulch.

    My site goes through 4 inches per year, and we're in a dry climate. When I'm remulching, I can see exposed drip irrigation lines from all the mulch eroding/decomposing and exposing soil. It's hard to deny it's time to remulch when you can see dirt poking through the mulch
     
  6. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,087

    We mulch in spring.

    A little bit in fall but not nearly what we do in spring.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. RonWin

    RonWin LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 658

    In the northeast that would be way to much, and customers wouldn't be willing to pay that. One time during the year Is fine. Twice if absolutely necessary. ..
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,287

    Once per year but you have to put a good 4" down. Also, get in there with a rake and turn it over once or twice per year to keep it looking fresh.

    Next year before you add new mulch rake the existing mulch and turn it over and then add however much mulch you need to bring it up to 4".
     
  9. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,376

    2 times per year. Spring/Fall @ 2"deep.
    easy-lift guy
     
  10. FoghornLeghorn

    FoghornLeghorn LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 750

    We don't like to "turn" our mulch to get fresh color. When you do, it breaks up the moisture barrier that the mulch gets when the fibers interlock.

    Are most of you guys saying you don't remulch twice because your clients aren't willing to pay for it, or because you don't think it's "industry best practice"?

    I guess I'm asking from the standpoint of "if your clients had the money and were willing to spend it, would you mulch once or twice, based on what you think is best from a horticulture standpoint"
     

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