when to mulch?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by mikey, Jan 20, 2002.

  1. mikey

    mikey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    when do u start laying mulch?im starting out this spring
    so i a customer asks me what d u think about mulch fo rmy property?im not to sure how to answer?also fo rmy area most landscapers r charging between 70-80 per yard i was thinking of charging 70 u by it around here for aroung 35-38 per yd.alsoas far as laying it down do u just clean an crap laying on the old mulch and claen any weeds off?i heard u have to make it around an inch thick how do u measure that out with a ruler?

    thank you
  2. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Mulch Lesson

    A newly-mulched bed should have 2-3" of shredded mulch on it. In my area that is hardwood mulch. In other areas it might be hemlock or cedar or another type of wood. When working on a bed, determine how much mulch is already on the bed. If the existing mulch is rather thick, but is faded and worn looking, it is sometimes necessary to 'de-mulch' the bed for an extra charge prior to applying the new mulch. Avoid mulch volcanos around trees. Applying mulch too deeply around trees is detrimental to the health of the tree---promotes borers and rot. The practice of weeding the beds and cleaning them up prior to mulching is the sensible thing to do however the price structure for those services may vary according to locality. What is 'usual and customary' in one city may not be in another. Start mulching in early spring prior to beginning mowing.
  3. PRapoza451

    PRapoza451 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    Do yourself a huge favor and call your local extension rep. They can suggest and send you reading material that will put you light years ahead of the game. Their website is http://www.umassgreeninfo.org/
    And join some trade organizations near you. Maybe ALCM go to the upcoming New England Grows show:www.negrows.org

    To further answer your question, figure out your bed square footage and divide by 162 that will give you enough mulch to spread it at two inches.
  4. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    To add to Lanelles suggestions our area really doesnt warrant the additional costs of mulch removal prior to replenishing an existing bed.

    In place of this task I offer what is referred to as fluffing the mulch. This is basically just turning the mulch with a pitch fork and then regrading it to a finished look.

    I am of the old school philosophy that mulching is best applied in the late summer (post Aug.). This will give the nutrient values to the plants when they need it most (during the winter) and then we can re-fluff as we clean out the beds in the spring to look just like the "Jones" who recently had theirs done.

    The other benefit IMHO is that you have an asthetically pleasing property after the mowing season has ended with the freshly mulched beds still dark in hue because of the wetter fall weather.

    As far as pricing your product goes we buy in bulk 70+ yd loads and get it for around $18/yd (mark it up) to $36 then add $25 yd for installation. Many are familiar with and like the look of the $45/yd price tag from the local nursery who uses the same supplier I do.

    I am not only able to pitch them a $10 savings for "comparable product", but I am also making an additional $20+ per yard delivered and yet even more on those we install.

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