Adding mulch to your garden can be a simple solution to some of your most aggravating landscaping challenges. It’s also a great time-saving measure for homeowners. When done right, it could mean spending less time watering, pulling weeds and managing garden pests.

If adding mulch around your plantings is on your spring to-do list, here is what you need to know before you get started.

What does Mulch do?

Homeowners use this protective cover for a variety of reasons. Mulch gives your garden a polished look and make your yard look more complete. Its practical functions are just as important, though. Compost helps plants grow stronger by insulating seeds from extreme weather changes while simultaneously contributing essential organic nutrients.

Wood chips also help water absorption in your plants. A fresh layer slows storm water run-off and slows evaporation in the soil. When the soil in your garden is sufficiently hydrated, you won’t need to water your plants as much.

One of the best parts of this landscaping tool is how dynamic it is. Whether you want to trap heat in the soil before summer tapers off or your plants need to remain cool as the summer is on its way, mulch can help you.

Finally, mulch adds a polished look to your landscape. Today, there is a wide variety of wood chips you can choose from so you can find the perfect match.

What Kind of Mulch?

What kind of wood chips you put on your lawn is largely a personal choice. Some homeowners make their choice based on properties like texture and ability to preserve moisture. Others like being able to choose a particular color. We have several choices in a variety of colors. We also offer aromatic cedar and double-shredded hardwood mulches.

It isn’t a good idea to buy bags of wood chips. Often, it is prematurely decomposed and contains fungi or mold. Sometimes, this mulch is ground up scraps from the construction industry or wood shipping pallets. Our semi-trucks arrive weekly to bring you the freshest wood chips direct from Canada and Northern Michigan.

Color enhanced

Color enhanced wood chips has become more popular in recent years because it retains the color longer, without fading from the sun. Available in red, black, and brown, the dye we use to enhance color isn’t toxic or harmful. In fact, it is similar to food coloring in that regard.

Cedar wood is used in closets and drawers to keep away moths because it is an organic, all natural, insect repellent. In its mulch form, it will do the same for your home, creating a barrier for annoying, flying pests, like mosquitoes. The unforgettable cedar aroma keeps away nasty bugs without the use chemicals.

Our premium mulch, made from Greater Northern Michigan hardwood trees, accomplishes this. It’s ground twice to create a uniform product of the highest quality in the richest brown color tone.

When is the Best Time?

Mulch protects your plants from heat and preserves moisture. So the best time to apply it is after the spring rains, but before summer heat arrives. Mulch generally has a shelf life of less than a year. Regardless of what kind you select, it’s an annual expense that should be included in your landscape budget. Think of it as additional protection for the investment you have already made in your home and lawn.

How Much Do I Need?

If you already have this protective covering on your beds and just need a fresh layer, then less will do. A new landscaping project will require more to get great color, help with drainage, root insulation and protect against erosion. Too much mulch can also be a problem, as it can keep important nutrients from the plant roots. Our landscaping experts at J & S Landscaping can offer a recommendation based on your particular lawn and our particular climate.

How to Apply Mulch

When adding a layer of mulch to your plant bed, optimal thickness usually falls around two to three inches. If you have soil that drains fast you would lean towards installing it to the thicker depth. If your soil is slow to drain you can lean towards the thinner application. Thickness really depends on how much insulation you need for your specific plants.

Make sure the compost stretches slightly beyond the drip line of your plants. The drip line is the farthest out a plant stretches, or the leaf that is furthers from the stem horizontally. This is the area where your new mulch layer will be most productive.

One final step is to water the mulch after adding it. This will anchor down the first layer and hydrate your new landscape commodity.


Now that you’re armed with knowledge about this cornerstone landscaping tool, you’re ready to purchase your own and get to work. Here at J&S Landscape, we have semi-trucks arrive weekly to bring you the freshest wood chips direct from Canada and Northern Michigan at rock bottom prices.

Call today to learn more about our Mulch Delivery Services!