Community Stories

The dirt on mulch

August 09, 2019

Allan had a beautiful spruce tree in his front yard that grass wasn’t growing well under and several trees along the fence line of his back yard, that were a pain to mow around.

Thanks to a little landscaping advice, Allan learned that adding mulch to his landscaping would help control weed growth and reduce water loss and that adding a curving bed line around flower beds, trees, fences and the house would make mowing easier.

“If you are going to have lawn, I recommend having mulched beds all around the outside edges of the space,” said Ken Lehman, Ecological Services Operations Coordinator with The City of Red Deer. “This will leave an easy-to-mow lawn in the middle of the yard and eliminate any need for additional trimming.”

Mulch is material such as stone, wood chips or compost that is put over exposed soil as a protective covering. In addition to less yard maintenance, mulch can also help prevent erosion, moderate soil temperature and add nutrients to the soil.  

Allan dug in and installed edging, landscape fabric and wood mulch under the front spruce and in the perennial bed in the back yard. He decided to hire someone to do the long edge of the back yard around all the trees. The landscaper used a sod cutter and a truck to haul the mulch, so the work was done in half a day.

“The neighbours have been admiring it. One neighbour told me it looks pretty good, and that he was going to try it too,” said Allan.

Here’s what Allan learned from his experience:

  • It’s easy enough to do yourself, but for big areas professional help was worthwhile.
  • He will need to top-up the mulch from time to time as it settles and decomposes.
  • They don’t need to water plants as often because the mulch helps the soil retain moisture.
  • Determining what edging you use is a big decision. There are a lot of options with various price points.

If you want help making your yard healthier, check out The City of Red Deer’s naturescaping resources including mulch and plant rebates that are available in 2019.