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A healthy and well-maintained residential garden can improve the appearance and atmosphere of a home. To keep a residential garden looking fresh and aesthetically pleasing, you can plant flowers, fruits, vegetables, trees and other vegetation, and you can spread different colors and sizes of mulch.

Natural mulch is made from shredded bark, wood chips, peat, plant fibers, micronutrients and other materials. Mulch is often mixed with topsoil, compost and plant food to nourish plants and trees. High-quality mulch will keep the garden soil moist around trees and plants, keep the soil temperature consistent, discourage weeds and prevent soil erosion.

Here are some ways to use different mulches in a residential garden.

Sculptured Garden Beds

Ground-level garden beds that border a house, trees and garden beds can be topped with different mulches to keep the soil in the beds moist but not wet. Once you have defined these areas, spread 3 to 4 inches of mulch on top of the soil.

Keep mulch about 1 – 3 inches from the stems of growing plants and 3 – 5 feet from the base of tree trunks. When irrigating your garden, water the plants and trees as well as the surrounding mulch and allow the irrigation water to drain through the mulch into the ground to feed the underground root systems.

Raised Garden Beds

Raised garden beds can be created by installing large wooden planter boxes in your yard. When installing a wooden planter box, first drill holes in the bottom of the box and line it with rocks and stones to facilitate drainage. Elevate all wooden planter boxes off the ground with bricks or flagstone to keep the bottom of the wooden box from disintegrating from water rot.

Fill the garden box with potting soil to a height that is about 6 inches from the top of the box. Plant the garden box with a variety plants and feed and water them. Spread a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch on top of the soil around the plants to keep them moist and free of weeds.

Changeable Garden Containers

To have blooming plants in your garden during all seasons of the year, plant potted annual plants and change them as the seasons change. To do this easily, buy several round 15-gallon to 20-gallon plastic or rubber nursery greenhouse containers.

Dig a trench that is as deep as the height of the greenhouse containers and place the containers in the trench. Fill the area around each of the containers with mulch to the top of the container. Fill the bottom of each nursery container with rocks for drainage.

Place one potted plant in each container and fill the area around the plant with mulch. When you wish to change a growing plant, pull out the potted plant that you wish to remove and replace it with a new one.

Mulched Landscapes

Mulch can be used to cover garden paths, patios, barbecue areas, play yards and other areas. Landscape mulch is easy to walk on and drains well when wet from garden irrigation or rain.

Landscape mulch is available in the following colors to distinguish separate areas of your yard: black, dark brown, golden yellow, brick red and medium brown. Landscape mulch is also available in various sizes to further differentiate areas of your yard.

To have a beautiful residential garden, research and grow the plants and trees that are native to your location. Water and feed them as recommended for each species and change your potted plants as needed. Refresh your garden beds and landscaped areas with new mulch in different colors and sizes for each area of your residential yard.

Contact Parker Bark Company, Inc. for high-quality mulches, topsoils, soil mixes and soil conditioners. We have the products and experience to help you create and maintain a healthy and vibrant garden.

Homeowners face many different types of landscaping challenges. You may have too much water or too much sun, seasonal weather difficulties or just a tight budget and an older yard.

But no matter what your unique situation may be, there's a good chance that mulch could be your surprise solution. How? Here are six problems that mulch can help solve.

Too Much Water

With more and more areas suffering from worse weather and storms, it's vital to use your landscaping to help protect from water pooling and flooding. You can instantly raise low sections in the yard and even out small slopes by adding a layer or two of mulch. And covering bare areas with mulch helps prevent erosion.

Aside from serving as a leveler, mulch also controls how rainwater seeps into the ground. It absorbs rainwater quickly rather than letting it run off into the gutter, so your lawn and plants get more moisture. Secondly, it helps slow the absorption of water into the soil itself so that more of that liquid makes it into parched ground.

Winter Cold

Once summer is over, the challenge of properly preparing the yard for winter arises. Start by protecting your vegetable or herb garden with a thick layer of insulating mulch.

In addition to edible plants, identify perennials and flower bulbs that will spend the winter under the ground, then put a protective layer of mulch over them just as the temperature drops to about 25 degrees. Insulating plants that have died back will also prevent new growth from forming if the weather springs back up again during abnormally warm seasonal periods.

Summer Heat

Thirsty yards cost money and extra work to keep them looking nice. Mulching is an easy way to help protect from a baking sun. Why? It insulates delicate plant roots and trunks. Place a layer of between one and four inches of mulch around tree bases and bushes to give shade to their roots. Use more mulch around fastdraining soil (like sand) and less in areas where water drains slower.

Tired Landscaping

Many homeowners don't have a huge budget for a makeover. But you can always use inexpensive mulch to make over the yard. Fresh mulch looks as great as a new hardscape for a lot less. Add mulch to flower beds, around trees, over old walkway materials and around the borders of a lawn for an instant update.

With modern techniques, you can even choose different colors - including striking black, deep red, and rich gold varieties to add new hues to the yard.

High Maintenance

Mulch is a good way to reduce the need to spend hours on regular yard tasks like weeding. A thick layer of mulch around flowers or bushes prevents light from reaching down into the ground where pesky weeds germinate. Combine this natural protection with landscape fabric underneath the mulch to add even more weed control.

Kid and Pet Traffic

Do your kids and their friends love to play in the backyard but often leave it trampled? Do you have dogs who run regular routes in the yard, causing unsightly dirt paths? Try replacing high traffic areas with a soft and kid- or pet-friendly mulch. Look for well-worn routes in the yard, such as from the back door to the play area, then replace that grass or other organic material with a hardy mulch.

Using inexpensive mulch to create a wide, direct path between regular yard destinations can save the rest of your yard by naturally corralling foot traffic onto the walkway instead of across the landscape.

Mulch can be a great way to improve your yard's appearance and resilience with little effort. Why not talk to the mulch experts at Parker Bark Company, Inc. today to see how it can help your particular challenges?

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