After: A rock wall and strategically placed boulders create a new bed for plants and trees that don’t overwhelm the entryway. Now, the area is better tied to the existing bed, and there’s also an expanded mulched area with new plants.
Finish this type of trench lawn edging by covering the area with some type of mulch. A mulch layer helps keep weeds from sprouting in the uncovered soil and prevents soil erosion from the planting bed itself. If your trench area is shallow, you can run your lawn mower along the bed edge by dropping one wheel into the trench. This eliminates any need for string trimming the lawn edge.
Winter mulch is one of the best things you can do to help improve soil for the long term. A winter mulch layer protects plant roots, a boon with plants prone to frost heave. Mulch also keeps soil warm longer, which means worms stay active longer into the season, continuing to improve the soil through their burrowing activities.
The recommended mulch depth is 3-4 inches for medium to coarse textured materials, says experts with The Morton Arboretum. Spread mulch under trees, shrubs and throughout planting beds, as seen at this home, handcrafted by OakBridge Timber Framing, on a 5-acre lot on the shores of Lake Erie, Ohio.
Draft conical forms of dwarf Alberta spruce to add vertical elements to plantings. In this bed, dwarf Alberta spruce towers neatly above drifts of lavender. Both plants crave well-drained soil, which this gravel mulched bed provides. In winter, when the lavender is resting, the spruce takes center stage, adding color and height all winter long.
A winter mulch can be a gardener’s best friend, especially around new additions to the landscape. That extra mulch layer can help prevent frost heave around new plants that may not have an extensive root system to help keep them anchored in soil as it freezes and thaws. Put a 2-inch-thick layer around the base of plants to insulate roots and
Rather than fill the empty space of the planting beds with an array of flowers and shrubs, the designer chose to emphasize the unique boxwood shapes by planting them far apart. A simple, neat layer of mulch ensures the focus remains on the artistic topiary element and deters the growth of weeds.
Natural stone steps connect paver patios in this gorgeous backyard. Stones create a bed for a pond bordered by planted shrubs lined in a mulched area. The patio pathway leads to a seating area and descends slightly to a fire pit with additional seating.
An outstanding mulch that’s free for the taking, shredded fall leaves provide a great alternative for informal planting beds, vegetable gardens and shade gardens. As leaves decompose, they add fantastic organic matter to soil. Slugs tend to like shredded leaves, so use caution applying them around slug favorites like hosta or leaf lettuce. Expect leaves to last from one to two growing seasons. Always shred leaves with a mower or leaf vac before using them as mulch.
Concrete stepping stones laid in a rock bed create a simple and textural walkway up the side of the home and yard. Mulched garden sections add natural decorations and levels of plant life beside the crisp, cut uniform yard. An outdoor living room is situated on the patio complete with stone fireplace and chimney.
What's the best way to make a good first impression when selling your home? Freshen up your home’s curb appeal with mature landscaping and dark-brown mulch or simply invest in two oversized urns to accommodate year-round plantings, as seen on HGTV's Bang for Your Buck.
Don't forget about hidden nooks, such as this spot with a mossy garden gnome. For choosing materials, medium-textured mulch is best because fine particles will pack down and retain moisture, which evaporates before reaching plant roots, according to The Morton Arboretum in Illinois.
This modern, Southwestern style home gets the perfect desert landscape. A gabion wall stands at the back of the yard, next to the foundation of the house to help curb erosion. Small flowerbeds then cascade down the yard along the steps. These beds contain durable plants that can survive the summer heat in this desert climate without much water. Instead of mulch in these beds, the beds are filled with rock to keep from having to grow grass that would require lots of water during the summer months. This way, the home's front yard is completely sustainable.
When tomatoes develop a dark, sunken spot on the bottom, that’s known as blossom end rot. This condition occurs when plants don’t get enough calcium—either because there’s not enough in soil or soil pH is too low for plant roots to absorb calcium. Hot weather and uneven watering also contribute to the problem. The best way to beat blossom end rot is to do a soil test prior to planting, in spring. You might need to add lime or gypsum to increase calcium in soil. During the growing season, water tomato plants regularly and add a mulch layer to maintain soil moisture. Calcium-containing sprays applied to tomato leaves can also help boost calcium levels in the plant. When using calcium sprays, follow directions carefully.