Maintenance - Weeding, Edging
We all want our properties to look manicured. We try to explain the proper progression to our clients so that if they choose to try and perform time consuming simple tasks they can. Weeding is a simple task unless you're in a perennial bed. Many perennials look like weeds. You need to use a claw of some type to get the roots of the weeds. Pulling off the head of the weed is a waste of time. It will push through your new mulch very quickly. You may have to remove some of last years mulch. Otherwise it will lead to mounding your plants
Edging takes place with a straight nursery spade cutting a clean edge dividing turf areas from the shrub beds. A claw or a grub hoe is the preferred tool for extracting the debris. The cut only has to be three inches deep to get the best visual effect. Debris is put into a wheelbarrow and loaded on a truck or dumped on site if allowable. This debris makes great compost. We compost all debris generated by these work task projects. With weeding and edging complete you can spread granular fertilizer and/or install a soaker hose to water your plants that will be covered by the mulch. A soaker hose is the best method of watering your shrubs and ornamental trees. Above ground irrigation will aggravate disease on the foliage of your plants. Preparing your shrub beds for mulch is where all the work is.
Veterans Memorial Park
Spreading bark mulch is like painting. You want to spread the mulch so you do not leave foot tracks. Work your way out of the shrub bed covering the installed soaker hose. Spread the mulch as you go, otherwise if you put piles all over everywhere you will use more mulch than you necessary. Bark mulch should only be 2-3" deep. The concept of mulching your plants is about plant health care, but the esthetic value is a big plus. Mulch is used to slow down soil temperature fluctuation and help retain natural rainfall.
If your house has a dark color use a light bark mulch color. If your house has a light color use a dark mulch. All landscape is about contrast. Wood chips can be used for plant health care but will give you no esthetic value. Wood chips are generally used on back border areas or children's play areas. Wood chips are too small for termite activity to take place. Termites may crawl through wood chips to get to your house but they are not attracted by the wood chips.
Click images to enlarge
Do not use peat moss for mulch. Peat moss is a soil amendment mixed in poor soils to help retain water. Peat moss spread and not mixed will absorb all the water. When the sun hits the peat moss it will turn into a impermeable surface and the water will run off not getting to your plants. This is a common mistake made by home owners.