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First You Edge, Then You Mulch, And Mulch Some More!

Mulching Photo Op

First, you must edge, and then you can mulch! Someone, please explain to me why I thought I should help with our Spring mulching? Yes, I know I said I would, but who knew just how many rules are involved? Okay, I admit, this picture is a photo op. My husband took it while I pretended to load up that wheelbarrow. What I did do, however, is help rake the mulch out in our flower beds. Out I went with a positive attitude only to encounter my husband, who insisted on doing the job a certain way. He then decided to TEACH me his way. I lasted an hour the first day and maybe an hour the last day. (note to self, use the backside of the rake for spreading the mulch.)

Edging, The Fleming Way

For the Fleming’s, Spring mulching is a multi-generation job. It does not hurt we all live next door to each other. About two weeks ago, my husband mentioned to his father to go ahead and buy a truckload of bulk mulch. While we waited for it to arrive, Jon spent the next few days with a spade edging around EVERY single tree and flower bed.  I went with a water bottle and a good attitude when I saw he was just about done. I got the fun job of taking the shovel full of dirt and putting it in the wheelbarrow. He likes to get down on his knees to get an excellent clean cut.  

Mountain Of Mulch

The mountain of mulch arrived a few days later. Fifteen yards of mulch! For some reason, they decided to get more than the three houses needed. Did I mention my daughter lives in the house in between us? When I asked my husband why he had it all dumped at his dads’ house since we had many more flower beds to do, I got the answer that it is easier to push the wheelbarrow downhill to our home instead of uphill to his parent’s house. It made sense to me. Luckily my father-in-law used his tractor to help bring down the mulch. But he came faster than my husband could spread it out how he wanted. (perfectly) That is where I came in. I complained a lot, but the weather was beautiful, and it was nice just being outside together. Plus, as I mentioned, I did not last long.

Lessons Learned About Edging & Mulching

I asked why we needed to edge and mulch around all the trees on our property. I knew the answer; however, Jon enjoys explaining things to me. He mentioned it was to keep the weeds/ grass away from the tree’s trunk so when they are mowing, they do not accidentally hit the edges of the trees. Of course, we only spread out a small amount of mulch in the prepared circle. None of that volcano mulching you see landscapers mistakenly doing. That is one of the worst things you can do to your trees.

I found out why my husband’s jeans’ knees are always worn out each Spring. Like with the edging, he spends more time on his hands and knees, spreading the mulch evenly under every bush and any plants that have started to appear. He likes to hand spread around the edges so the mulch does not get into the grass, creating more work when he would have to rake it back into the flower bed. Thank goodness he did not expect me to get down there with him. Maybe next year, I will be in better shape.

Next Up! A Visit To My Local Garden Center

There you have it! I got out there and helped in the garden. It really was not that bad, and I proved to myself that I could help. Thank you to the folks that wrote a few months ago that I really should help my husband in our garden. You were right! I am not sure he will agree with you, though. Next up, off to a local garden center to get my broccoli plants and hopefully some happy pansies for my pots!

Use a good spade when edging before you mulch
First, use a good spade to cut in the edges at a plant remove excess dirt before mulching; rather, in law, Marshall helps get the job done



help moving mulch with a small tractor
Help move mulch with small tractor

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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