Landscaping can make your home a lot more valuable: it has the potential to increase your resale value by as much as 14% if done well. If you?re looking to create the best landscape design possible, you need to know the different types of mulch products available and where and how to use them. Here?s a quick guide to when and where to use barkdust and what differentiates it from other types of mulch:
Know Your Mulches
Some of the different types of mulch include straw, stones, black rubber, and barkdust. The first issue is decomposable vs. non-decomposable mulches. Rocks can look pretty and last a long time without the need for constant reapplication. Black plastic is similar, but it also has the potential to leach pollutants. Neither will decompose to provide nutrients for your soil. Organic mulches are generally preferable, as they will decompose and improve your soil. They can change the pH balance, so it?s worth checking into that. The main drawback of organic mulches is the need to reapply, possibly as often as every season.
The next issue in knowing your mulches is understanding their insulation value, whether they need to be removed in the spring, how much nourishment they can provide how easy they are to apply, and what they will look like. Pine straw, for example, has good insulating value, fair nourishment, and is easy to apply, but it does need to be removed every spring. It also doesn’t look as good as some other mulches.
Barkdust and other wood mulches offer good insulation and fair nourishment, but do have to be removed in the spring. Most people think they look a lot better than straw. Black plastic?s main draw is that it is extremely easy to apply and does not need to be removed in the spring. But it provides no nourishment, only some insulation, and looks awful. Rocks can have a great look and don’t need to be reapplied, but they give nothing to the soil and are more difficult to lay and remove.
What Kind of Barkdust Should I Use?
The best look is usually a dark fir, which is the most popular type. Younger mixes, though, will have a lighter look if that is preferable, and they?ll also last longer. Some people love hemlock, the second-most popular type, because it has fewer splinters. This is especially important for playground applications.
How Much Do I Need?
If you are applying it by hand, two inches is sufficient. If you?re using a bark blower, the process of blowing bark dust means you need more like three inches. You?ll end up with mulch only about an inch thick as it settles over time. If you?re putting down saw or bark dust for a playground, however, the recommended amount is 12 inches.
To calculate for your yard, figure that one unit, which is 200 cubic feet, can cover around 1200 square feet of yard at two inches of thickness, or 750 square feet at three inches. You?ll probably want to reapply every two to four years, depending on how you maintain it and what type you?ve bought. This in an investment, definitely, but research suggests that investing as little as 5% of your home?s estimated value on good landscaping could get you an ROI of 150%.
How Do I Apply It?
Whether you are doing it by hand or using barkbust blowing services, before you apply, be sure you?ve weeded and trimmed any bushes or trees. Be sure to remove things like rocks or tree branches and apply a weed barrier if you desire. Of course there are chemical weed suppressants, but there are also plenty of natural ones that won?t pollute your soil or kill off good bacteria.
If applying barkdust by hand, use the back end of a shovel to spread it evenly. For larger yards and landscapes, find local bark blowers and hire them to take care of your bark dust needs. Not only is bark blowing easier and faster, but it also results in a more consistent application.
Improve the value of your home and upgrade the look of your yard with a quality mulch. You?ll be very pleased with the results!