How to apply mulch

Mulches produced from organic material can naturally boost the quality of your soil and help your garden retain and hold water, ideal for our changeable climate. Learn about how to apply bark mulch below and in our video guide.

Mulching means you’re letting your garden do most of the work but there are a few simple steps to help it on its way.

  • Beds and borders can be mulched at any time of year, however the best time to apply a mulch is mid to late spring or autumn, whilst the soil is damp and not too cold.
  • Clear any weeds from the bed or border you wish to dress with mulch.  Mulches can promote healthy growth by boosting the fertility of your soil and you don’t want unwanted weeds or grass benefitting with your plants!
  • Over time the mulch will break down into your soil enriching it with essential nutrients. Make sure the bed or border is receptive by loosening any hard or trodden down areas with a fork. If you want to give your soil an extra boost, dig an enriching soil improver or peat free compost into the ground.
  • Mulching helps to stop moisture evaporating and enables your soil to hold onto more water. Before you lay the mulch, dampen the surface of your bed or border. This will also help the mulch to stay in place.
  • If you want to retain moisture and slow down weed growth, it’s important you don’t skimp on the amount of mulch you apply. Aim for at least 50mm (about two inches), ideally 75mm (about three inches).
  • Spread the mulch evenly.
  • Your plants need room to breathe, so avoid applying mulch too close to plant stems or tree trunks to prevent them waterlogging or rot setting in.
  • Regularly keep an eye on the levels. Gradually, the mulch will naturally breakdown into the soil, enriching your garden in the process, so may need topping up occasionally.
  • Always wear gloves when mulching and wash hands after use.

You can use our Product Calculator to work out how much Bark you may need.