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When is the Best Time of Year to Mulch?

family enjoying front yard

One of the most common questions we get is in regards to mulch and when it’s the best time to use it. Truth is – there really isn’t a bad time. Mulch is a great thing, period. It makes your plants pop, it helps them thrive, it looks great – everything. It’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing and that’s not something you can say about anything very often! So while we’ve established that there isn’t a BAD time, what’s the BEST time? Well, that depends on some things, but here’s a quick guide that’ll help you decide for yourself when’s best for you.

Spring Time Mulching

You should mulch your yard in the Spring if:

  • You care about getting rid of weeds – Since plants start growing in the spring, blocking sunlight will help prevent the growth of weeds. Weeds as you know – are bad.
  • If you want a fresh, clean look – Because who doesn’t?
  • If you’re patient – We recommend waiting until mid to late spring to lay down the mulch. Don’t do it too early because you can trap a lot of cold moisture and can actually delay the emergence of your plants.

Fall Time Mulching

You should mulch your yard in the Fall if:

  • You’re really busy in the Spring – for a lot of people, their jobs kick back into gear in the Spring, so you’re busy and you simply don’t have the time. And you know what? That’s fine. That’s why we have the fall. You can take care of it then so you don’t have to worry about it in the spring.
  • You’re not bothered too much by aesthetics – If you mulch now it won’t look so hot come Springtime – and by that we mean the mulch. It’ll take snow, take the moisture, and all the other elements as well. It’ll still work perfectly fine and it’ll be great for your plants. Just don’t expect that flawless bright brown/red look once the weather warms up, is all. If it doesn’t bother you – which it shouldn’t – go ahead and lay it down now.
  • You live in a place where the weather is super cold – If your winters are anything like they are here in New England – it’s never too early to insulate your plants. That being said, there is a little precision required. Allow a frost or two to lay it down to keep the temperature even.

Should I Mulch Twice?

If you have a lot of perennials, the answer is sadly ‘yes.’ OK, not sad – but they need a little extra care as opposed to other plants. As the soil freezes and then subsequently thaws, it can push these flowers out of their homes, and adding another protective layer can reduce the chances of that happening.

Also, if you have a ton of evergreens, then you definitely want to. Evergreens get dry fast in the winter and covering the soil will keep the soil moist – and moist soil means a healthier plant.

Like we said – there’s never a terrible time to mulch –and the Spring and Fall bring with them certain benefits. The truth is you can choose either depending on your schedule and the makeup of your yard. If you want some more advice or you have some specific questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll give you a free consultation!

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