Thursday, February 27, 2014

HOW MUCH MULCH

In lieu of today's "Inspiration Thursday", I have a quick question for our gardening friends so I can place an order tomorrow...

Raised beds
Soil is being delivered soon (yay) so that we can fill up the new raised beds I recently built.  We figured it was easier to do that before the mulch is in and I have to push loads of dirt through the garden and possibly spilling it into the nice clean (for now anyway, ha) new mulch.

But that brings me to the question:
I’m trying to determine how much mulch to order.  I know how many square feet I will need of course, but to get the cubic yard amount to have it delivered, I need to decide on a depth.  Now, you all know I have the landscapers weed block fabric down, and it’s a fenced in area full of raised beds.  I've read in various places that anywhere between 1 and 4 inches is average.

4" seemed WAY too deep, so I originally calculated 3”.  But looking at the raised beds picture, that seems kind of deep to me when I realize the beds are 12 inches high.  That’s a quarter of the way up the sides of each bed.

1" seems too shallow to me on the flip side, so in the end, I am leaning toward thinking maybe about 2” deep would be good?

For those that have put mulch in a similar area, how deep would you recommend?  I realize that after a season or two, I’ll be adding/refreshing/etc, but I just wonder how much is enough vs being too much and/or wasteful?


Thank you in advance!

28 comments:

Annie*s Granny said...

http://www.gardenplace.com/content/calculator/mulch_calc.html

1st Man said...

Now that is a cool calculator! Thanks! I was using old fashioned math, ha.

I also want to know how deep you (and others) would recommend. Is 2" good? Too shallow?

Sarah said...

I would do at least 2" and then think about doing another order before next winter. Things settle down and you'll have a good idea by then how much more you'd like. Also if your doing anything that will over winter in the beds like blueberries or something along those lines you'll wnat ot make sure they have lots of protection.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i always put down 3-4 inches. it breaks down and compacts pretty fast.

Annie*s Granny said...

I agree with Jaz. If you put down 3-4 inches, it will most likely compact down to around 2" in the first season.

Anonymous said...

Hi I have a set-up similar to yours and have found the mulch quickly decomposes and then becomes basically a very healthy weed bed! If I keep the mulch sparse, the hot sun will dry out any emerging weed seedlings. Your weed block is essentially doing the job--you could not even mulch it all except it will get too hot.

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

I'm saying. "how much mulch?" A lot. Period.

Texan said...

I agree go deep on the mulch, we do here. With the heat here in Texas it will keep your plants feet cooler and save you a ton on watering! I actually mulch more than 4" but I use hay which compost quickly. As another pinner said it will decompose and make your dirt even nicer. You won't get it to deep. It helps many things. I know it goes against the grain to mulch that deep but here in Texas with our heat its a good plan. It can make a huge difference in the amount of watering you will do.

Anonymous said...

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Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

Ditto!

George Booth said...

I'm with everyone else; I don't think you can use too much mulch. I always end up using too little simply because I can't afford as much as I really need lol. 3-4" will quickly compact down to 1-2". I used to use pine straw as my mulch, but it decomposes really fast. Lately I've been using cypress chips, and they seem to last longer, although I still have to remulch every spring.

Anonymous said...

I don't recommend cypress mulch...it's very difficult to replace.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/mulch-madness-environmentally-friendly-mulch-options.aspx

deergarden said...

Mulch as much as you can afford .. as deep as possible.. it settles more than you can imagine....

Quinn said...

To be honest, I let my goats decide...however much "used" bedding I drag out of the goat shelters is exactly how much mulch goes on the gardens ;)
How excited you must be to get started with all those beautiful raised beds! A bit envious, here :)

FionaG said...

I'm with most of the people above, more is best. We get very hot summers here and I have seen the difference in watering needed as well as how the plants cope when I give a good mulch as opposed to a small covering. I notice it most in the amount of weeds I have to pull as well. I hate weeding, I don't find it as 'therapeutic' as others seem to do.

Jody said...

I'm with the rest. I don't use weed suppressing cloth. So it takes 6 inches of mulch to keep the weeds from growing around here.

1st Man said...

I was afraid that would be the answer, ha. Thanks! By the way Cloud, I can't access that youtube email. Send one to me at the gmail. houstonray AT gmail DOT com.

1st Man said...

That's good logic. Thank you! I'm thinking 3" at this point and then like you said, just see how the season progresses.

1st Man said...

Well thank you Jaz, Granny, and Tonya, sounds like 3' at least, which is what i was leaning toward. Of course I was hoping for 2" because that would be less to haul, lol. Thanks ladies!

1st Man said...

Hmmm, now there is a thought I didn't ponder. Thanks! It IS hot here though in the summer. Maybe less is more as they say. I'll have to see how things go. Thanks!!

1st Man said...

Thank you, yes, our heat is crazy as you know all too well. I figured it would break down after awhile. I'll got with 3" first and then add to it later I think. I didn't think about watering makes sense to me. Thanks!!!

1st Man said...

Awesome I just signed up for it. Thank you, it's a great blog.

1st Man said...

No such thing as too much, ha. I guess I'm going for the deeper. Pine straw, believe it or not, is pricey down these parts, probably because there aren't as many pines in the area so it has to be shipped in I guess. I'll anticipate remulching yearly (or at least 'adding to' it).

1st Man said...

Thanks for that article link. I will look into other options as well.

1st Man said...

We've save up for all this, and I don't mind going deep, except the work part of spreading it all out, ha. I'm hoping it's not AS hard as the soil was. If I could get through that, hopefully the mulch will be a bit easier. I'm guessing it's not as heavy, at least I'm hoping that, so that the shoveling and carting is not as heavy, ha. Thanks!!

1st Man said...

Ha, that's a good strategy on your part. Don't be envious, we'll ave to see how it all goes, ha. Am definitely excited though. I'll share it all, good bad and otherwise, ha.

1st Man said...

Ha, weeding is not high on my list either. Probably because it's so hot when they are at their worst. It's probably relaxing when there are a few and it's cool weather. When they are out of control and it's blazing hot, no fun, ha. Thanks for the tips!

1st Man said...

I wonder if there is a rule of thumb that weed cloth equal x amount of mulch. Maybe I've cut it down by half, instead of six inches, three will work. We'll see what happens! Thank you!