Despite the gloomy prediction by phil the groundhog, I’m planning for spring to be here soon! One way to begin to prepare is to locate a good source of mulch! Here are a few tips for selecting the best mulch for your purposes:
Purchase in bulk from a commercial landscape materials dealer.
The greenest way (most earth-friendly) way to buy organic mulch (shredded wood or bark chips) is in bulk — without the plastic bags that are often disposed in the landfill. Buying in bulk is also much less expensive than purchasing the bags. Some individuals dislike the fact that organic mulch breaks down over time, but over time, it adds valuable organic material to loosen the soil and provides pockets for oxygen to be available for roots — critical for good root development. We purchase at least one pick-up load pre-spring and again pre-Fall — both good times to spruce up the appearance of the garden, as well as provide “in progress” compost.
Load mulch into the wheelbarrow and deliver to garden beds as needed (great arm-strengthening activity that also burns the calories — and the process is awesome for relaxing the mind).
Adding about 2 inches of mulch before weeds begin to sprout is a great way to limit what will sprout — making the spring weeding just a bit less taxing!
Work several days, as time permits! (Slow and steady wins the race!)
Whatever is not used can be unloaded into a pile (drive the pickup to the location) and then loaded into the wheelbarrow later, as gardening time becomes available. My schedule leaves me unable to garden from Sunday evening through Thursday afternoon, so I work just a bit each day and the results add up! It may take 2 or 3 weeks to completely distribute the bulk mulch, so get started in late December to Early January (Zone 8b)—that’s when I begin!