|Bark in the bag, ready for mulching|
Some internet surfing resulted in varying prices and types of bark, but in the end a visit to a local DIY store produced a special offer. So every time one of us has passed the store this week, a car load of 50 litre bags has come back. The record stand at 40 bags, thankfully in the 4x4 and not my car! This has allowed me to mulch three big beds by the drive: the scented bed that fronts our dry stone wall; the island bed, which is planted to give colour all year round and the tree-line border, which serves to provide visual impact to people coming through the main gate. I have to say I am impressed with the results and can cope with not being able to see the soil! These beds are particularly bad for weeds and moss, so I am eager to see just how much work this will save over the coming year and beyond, and it looks good, which is also very important.
|Bark amongst the ferns in the Island bed|
|Leaving a soil edge in the borders|
Using fabric underneath works better with new beds. Once the bed is dug and levelled you can lay the landscape fabric and spread the mulch over. A lesser depth of two inches is usually required as you have the landscape fabric to help in the weed reduction. The weight of the bark will keep the fabric in place without pinning it. Then cut holes in the fabric where you want to plant you plants, dig a hole and replace the bark around the plant once planted.
Eventually the bark with disappear, working its way into the soil as it breaks down over the years and some topping up will be necessary from time to time. Until then you can enjoy tidy looking borders and a lot less weeding.
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