Installing mulch

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by touhey33, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. touhey33

    touhey33 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773

    When you install mulch do you remove old mulch, or just supplement it with the new mulch, if so do you only and a couple of inches or around 4 inches, if you do remove the old mulch what do you do with it.
     
  2. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656


    All depends on how much mulch is already present...if at all possible no removal. On clients I have had for years, only 1" or less per year depending on slope...new installs 3".
     
  3. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,504

    I try to leave the mulch on the beds, as it decays and ammends the soil. Usually I add 1-2'' of new mulch each year
     
  4. Groundcover Solutions

    Groundcover Solutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,254

    We never remove the mulch it decomposes and will compact every year. We add at least 3" this is the standered practice for the highend commercial and residentals in our area.
     
  5. AlbeLawn

    AlbeLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 115

    Something that i have seen is going in about mid summer, if you mulched in spring, and turn the mulch over so that it decomposes quicker and adds to the soil. They normally use a hoe looking tool with three forks on it. i have one but no clue what it is called. It makes it look like it was freshly mulched with out the mulch. Very time consuming but if will to pay why not do it. hope this helps.
     
  6. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    We call it a "potato" fork. Don't know...contractor I worked for in high school called it that and hence so do I...wonder if it is for pulling up potato's. One of the best 'hand' tools we have in our arsenal. Its great for turning up mulch.
     
  7. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,130

    We do not usually remove the old mulch, unless we're changing from one color mulch to another or the mulch is on landscape fabric.

    The reason for removing when changing color, say from light to dark, is that even though you may cover all the old mulch, burrowing critters will almost certainly bring some of the old mulch to the top and make it look....well, like crap.

    As for mulch on landscape fabric (which we don't use for mulch - only stone), having decayed mulch on top of the fabric provides a nice meduim for weeds to grow in. Once the roots grow through the fabric, it's a real chore to remove them.

    I have used a "potatoe fork" for turning mulch but now prefer using the cultivator attachment for my Shindaiwa multi-tool. Much faster. Then I'll just smooth with the back side of a spring rake and hit with the BP blower to knock off any small humps.
     
  8. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    Agreed. We have an old Ryobi tiller. About 8" in width and 6" tines. GREAATTT for turning over mulch. Just have to be careful around any plants/shrubs that have shallow roots...then the old potato fork goes into use.
     
  9. kipcom

    kipcom LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 352

    Be Careful how thick that layer of mulch is on top of any plants or tree roots. If you get it to thick it can suffocate or burn the roots that are there to get the nutrients form the H2O. 4-6" max on our properties.....then we remove or turn it with pitch forks or the handheld cultivator.

    Remember that wood is an insulator and can hold too much heat when in direct sunlight (something to consider) and cause damage to plants and trees. If it(mulch) is too dense it can cause mold and fungus which is also harmful.
     
  10. BKupfer

    BKupfer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Great advice Kipcom. It kills me when I see mulch loaded up a tree. Knowing the damge that this can cause.
     

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