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Talkback: How to mulch your beds and borders

As perennials are cut down to the ground in Autumn when they die back what is the best way to apply mulch please? Do you, for example, cover the crown as well as the area around where the roots are underground, and is this with about 5 to 8cms of the mulch? If so, do you need to remember to pull back that mulch cover in Spring to allow in light to the centre to allow leaf growth?...or will the mulch roof have gradually eased its way back into the soil? If not, will the plant simply grow up through it? If so, what will the bed look like after, say 6 winters???!!! TY,P.


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    If you apply a mulch to the borders it is best around plants- but even if you cover the crown I have found the new shoots tend to grow through anyway

    Not sure what you mean by six years?

  • Thank you for that.  Much appreciated.  By 6 winters I was jokingly trying to imagine a border a number of feet above normal ground/lawn level if you put mulch upon layer of mulch winter after winter!....with the perennialls getting deeper into the soil.

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    There was a discussion not long ago about putting on layer after layer each year of mulch, compost, manure etc...and as no one had a bed which reached the height of their house yet image the conclusion was it rots down image  have some trust image  

  • PHEW!!  (Joking...again!).  Like the reply.  Cheers!  

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    LOLimageHappy to helpimage

  • Thanks for the question, Pearse. I was wondering the same - if mulch is weed suppressor then was thinking need to avoid covering plants too much.
  • Yep!  Thanks for that.  I was wondering what exactly to do.  Having visited my really helpful garden centre I was advised that we should indeed cover the lot, and out as far from the centre as the previous foliage spread in the growing season as that is a good guide in assessing the size of the roots underneath.  Then mark the centre with a stick.  In Spring clear the centre circle with care I (obviously!) to allow re-growth.  8cms at the centre should be fine............Aaah! Happy at last!  Cheers everybody!  P.

  • As regards the build up of mulch, having recently moved into a new garden, I decided it needed hand forking throughout. I'm very lucky to have a well established compost heap (in two halves - current & 6 mnths+ old) and as I've forked an area over, I've removed any lumpy soil and incorporated it into the compost heap. If you feel that you have an excess of soil anywhere, either do the same or just remove it to a quiet corner of your garden.

    Having now done all of the hard work I can look forward to pleasurable tickling over.

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