Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How to Mulch a Flower Bed

If all you need for a flowerbed is a small amount of mulch, how much do you actually buy and what else do you need to know?

When you are looking to mulch a flowerbed, the amount of work that goes into it can seem lengthy. It can make you want to give up and put a high-end plantereverywhere! After all, you want a project of this type to be high-quality, but fairly inexpensive and easy to execute. Before you give up in frustration, take a look at this advice on getting the right tools, the right amount of mulch, finding the right tips, and knowing which measurements to use. Tools and materials you need to mulch a flowerbed

When you head down to the hardware store to pick up your flowerbed supplies, there are a few obvious choices. First, you will need the flowers and plants along with extra potting soil. You may also need a strong shovel to dig holes for your plants and aerate the soil. However, to keep weeds from growing in between the plants and lock in moisture, you will need to use mulch. To prevent any additional plants from sprouting up, use a plastic barrier under your mulch layer. You will also want to get plastic storage bins to store at least a couple of extra mulch bags outside.

Tips for mulching a flower bed

Since the intended purpose of mulch is to prevent weeds from growing and to keep moisture in the soil, could there be any drawbacks? In fact, over-watering can cause mulch to decompose at a rapid rate and allow mildew to grow. Mildew can be detrimental to the health of your plants, but the easy solution is to simply let the mulch dry out a little. Depending on the area you live, you may be able to water your flowerbed twice a week or less. Nevertheless, getting the right amount of mulch for their flowerbed project is an issue that vexes amateur gardeners the most.

How much mulch you will need

You probably will not need a truck load to mulch a single flowerbed, so you will likely buy bags of mulch. In major retail hardware stores and gardening centers, they sell bags of mulch in 2 cubic feet, 3 cubic feet and higher. Generally speaking, bagged mulch sold in the cubic feet unit of measurement is intended to make it easier for amateur gardeners to determine how much they need. If you want to make sure you get the precise amount, stay tuned for various ways to calculate mulch in long-form math.

Calculating mulch without a calculator

There are a variety of mulch calculators online, but some people are more comfortable tabulating by hand. To get started, get a piece of paper, a pen, a calculator, and a measuring tape. Measure the sides of your flowerbed in feet and inches and write it down. Multiply the length times the width to get the square feet. Most people want two inches of mulch, and so you will need to multiply the square footage number by 2. To get the cubic yard measurement that you find on the front of a bag of mulch, take your number and divide it by 324.

In other words, if you have 500 square foot that you want to cover in two inches of mulch, your calculation would be 500*2/324. The answer will be 3.08 meaning you need to buy at a gardening centerabout 3 bags of 2 cu. ft. mulch for your project. If your square footage for the flowerbed is 1200, and you want three inches of mulch, you would multiply 1200 by 3 and get 3600. You then divide 3600 by 324 to get 11.11 bags of 2 cubic feet of mulch.


  1. My wife has really been wanting to get the garden mulched for some time now. I'm definitely in that "beginners" category that you mentioned at the end though. Knowing the amount of mulch needed really isn't something that I'm very good at calculating though. Being able to get those bags at the stores really is nice to have as an option though. Thank you for taking the time to share this information.

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