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Using Mulch Properly

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

After a brutal and cold winter, we are all ready to get outside and give our gardens a fresh look. The best way to refresh our gardens and get them ready for spring is with mulch.

If you’re not sure which mulch to use, start by picking which mulch fits your budget or taste. Some people love the aromatic smell of cedar mulch, but hardwood mulch is more economical and has a rich dark brown color.

The first rule of thumb to remember is that the mulch should be no more than 3” thick. If your mulch is more than 3” thick, it could cause disease and deter air and water from reaching the soil. Maintaining a 2” depth throughout your entire bed is ideal for the soil and plants.

Never mound the mulch up around the stems or trunks of shrubs or trees, as this will cause your plants or trees to sit in moisture, increasing the chance of disease and illness.


  • Enhances your beds by giving it a cleaner and more natural look.

  • Helps retain moisture, reducing the frequency of watering.

  • Reduces erosion control by holding the dirt in place.

  • Keeps your soil cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

  • Helps reduce the need for weeding.

If you are not sure how much mulch you will need, measure the length and width of your planting bed and multiply those 2 together to get your square footage. If your bed is curved, just square it off and measure. Once you have your square footage, divide that number by 100. This equals the number of cubic yards you will need for a 2-3” depth of mulch coverage.

Iowa Outdoor Products offers mulch in bulk or bags depending on the size of your landscaping job, and we offer both pick up and delivery service. Visit our website for more helpful tips on measuring and coverage for mulching, or call and visit with one of our Garden Specialists at 515-277-6242.

Our Mulch Madness Sale at Iowa Outdoor Products runs Monday, March 6th through the end of the month. Get 20% off all bagged and bulk mulch.

Delivery or pick up is available Monday - Friday 10-4pm

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