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How Often Should You Replace Mulch To Keep Your Garden Thriving?

How Often Should You Replace Mulch To Keep Your Garden Thriving?

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When I first got into gardening, I knew very little about mulching. I knew it helped with soil retention and weed prevention, but beyond that, I was clueless. How much should I apply? How often should I change it? These were all mysteries to me.

I laid down my first mulch a couple of seasons ago, thinking I was set for life. Fast forward a few months, and my garden looked a little tired and unkempt. That’s when I realized mulch needs a refresh to keep everything looking its best. Who knew, right?

Replacing old mulch turned out to be the best option. I figured out the perfect mulching schedule and my garden has been thriving ever since.

Here’s what I discovered about when and how to replace mulch:

How To Know When Your Mulch Needs A Makeover

Knowing when to replace your mulch depends a lot on the type and condition of the mulch you’re using (I figured this out too late).

Organic mulches, like wood chips or bark, usually need to be changed once a year as they break down and improve the soil. 

For inorganic mulches, like rubber or rocks, I would recommend you do a yearly refresh, mainly to keep things looking good.

Guess what? The size of your mulch particles matters too. 

You might need to mulch less frequently the larger the mulch particles. 

You might need to mulch more frequently the smaller the mulch particles. 

In other words, wood chips might last you a while, but leaves will need more frequent replacing. 

After hearing these tips, I realized my garden mulch needed some serious refreshment. I started paying attention to the type of mulch and how often I needed to refresh it, and my garden has never looked better! 

Related: It’s The Perfect Time To Get Wood Chips For Your Yard

Keep An Eye Out For Early Season Red Flags

The best way to know if your mulch needs changing is to give it a good inspection at the start of the season. At first glance, it might look okay, but there are subtle signs that a refresh is needed.

It’s time to add a fresh layer of mulch if your existing one becomes much thinner or damaged. This will preserve the mulch’s many advantages, which include regulating temperature, retaining moisture, and suppressing weed growth.

When I first heard this advice, I didn’t realize how crucial it was. 

After a closer look at my garden, I noticed my mulch was looking pretty sad and thin. I added a fresh layer and everything looked as good as new! 

Also read: Are Pine Needles A Good Mulch Material?

Plan To Refresh Your Mulch In Spring Or Late Fall

I figured that there’s no wrong time to replace mulch, but the best windows are in the spring or late fall. 

This way, it’s outside your prime growing season, allowing your garden to get the most benefits – but don’t overdo it because replacing mulch too often can be a waste of money, and who wants to do that in this economy? 

Once I realized that I needed to change the mulch, I made the mistake of replacing mulch whenever I felt like it, which turned out to be unnecessary and costly. Learn from my mistakes and save a few bucks! 

Related: These Are The Benefits Of Leaf Mulch And The Best Way To Make It

Don’t Forget To Remove The Old Mulch First

I cannot stress this enough: whenever you decide to change your mulch, please remove the old layer first. 

Removing the old mulch prevents it from matting down and allows the new mulch to better regulate temperature and moisture. 

This simple step can make a world of difference in maintaining a healthy and thriving garden.

Enjoy The Perks Of Fresh Mulch

You might think of mulch as just a way to spruce up your garden beds, but not changing it regularly can lead to some serious issues. 

It can result in issues such as soil erosion, increased weed growth, and inadequate soil insulation. But with new mulch, you get all the good stuff! 

Over time, you’ll see the incredible difference fresh mulch can make in a surprisingly short period. Every time I refresh my mulch, I’m amazed at the transformation (everything looks brighter and perkier!).

So, don’t forget to regularly check on your mulch and change it when needed (trust me, your garden will love it). 

Also read: 4 Reasons Why You Should Use Aluminum Foil For Mulch