My time off led me to some chore activity involving raised beds.
They were in dire need of mulch and it was hot all week so chipping branches wasn’t happening.
Buying mulch wasn’t happening either and I didn’t want to use hay like the last couple of seasons.
So, I decided to do something a little different this year.
Before I went on a mulch hunt I wanted to change the flower bed layout because additional planting space was necessary.
This was a relatively simple task by taking the stacked bed and placing it on the ground.
My plan is to incorporate a small flowering perennial bed with room for a few annuals.
This means less work in the long run so when the annuals expire I still have something growing that doesn’t require a lot of attention.
The original layout can be found here.
Walking on the Project
Once the bed was moved, the soil and plants were settled the desire to figure out this mulch thing came next.
This involved walking on the property with Dixie seeking ideas for mulch.
I came across some clearing Robert tackled last winter and there sat several piles of leaves.
Several Piles of Leaves
I remembered raking those piles of leaves and decided they would be the perfect solution to my mulch problem.
It had recently rained so they were also nice and damp which made scooping them up a breeze.
After a wheel barrow load was full it was off to the gardens.
Mulch Layer Thickness
I’m often asked, “How thick should a layer of mulch be?”
First understand the point of mulch is to help maintain soil moisture and keep weeds to a minimum.
This means two inches is my preferred thickness for adding mulch. If you go lighter many times it washes away and thicker layers can suffocate your plants.
If mulch is being applied to an area where there are no plans for growing then going thicker wouldn’t be an issue.
Applying Leaf Mulch
Applying the leaf mulch was a breeze. Remember to wear gloves because you have no idea what these piles have come in contact with.
Then simply scoop up with a small bucket and place onto the top of each raised bed.
Spread out within a 2-inch layer thickness and you’re done. Once completed all of our raised beds looked so much better and it didn’t take but a couple hours.
These beds will now maintain moisture a lot better thanks to these leaves. This also means less watering!
When I place these beds to rest in the fall those same set of leaf’s will be covered with dirt. By applying the dirt decomposing begins over the winter leaving me with some sweet soil come spring.
This is what I call letting nature work for you.
Gathering garden mulch is just a smart way to use what you already have and make the garden look amazing at the same time.