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Mulching Around Trees & Hedge


Lawn Maintenance / Lawn Renovation

A great way to talk about all things lawn care related. Grass, turf, shrubs, trees, aeration, fertilization, reseeding, hydro-seeding, mowing, grub control, chemicals and pesticides. Ask questions, give answers. Grow!
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:32 PM
MAllenT MAllenT is offline
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Default Mulching Around Trees & Hedge

Just a quick question for you pros out there. I have a customer that wants me to remove the grass and replace it with small wood chip mulch around a tree and a boxwood hedge.

My question is, do I need to actually remove the grass or should I just use some of that black weed cloth and put the mulch right on top of it? She seems to want a hard edge where the grass ends and the mulch begins, seems like the way to do this is to dig out the sod to 2 inches in depth, then put down the cloth and mulch, but I'm not sure.

Thanks for any help with this!
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:17 PM
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Default Edging and mulch

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Originally Posted by MAllenT View Post
Just a quick question for you pros out there. I have a customer that wants me to remove the grass and replace it with small wood chip mulch around a tree and a boxwood hedge.

My question is, do I need to actually remove the grass or should I just use some of that black weed cloth and put the mulch right on top of it? She seems to want a hard edge where the grass ends and the mulch begins, seems like the way to do this is to dig out the sod to 2 inches in depth, then put down the cloth and mulch, but I'm not sure.

Thanks for any help with this!
If I am not using a barrier edging, I start by setting my outline with a power edger set to a depth of about 4 inches perpendicular on the grass side. With the edger you can cut in some gentle curves that are pleasing to the eye.. I then remove the grass. I make the outside border 4 inches deep sloping up to the removed grass height. I then put in the landscape fabric (the heavier the fabric, the easier it is to work with). A little extra expense for the heavier fabric will save you in the long run and give a better looking job.

Apply the mulch and pack it in at the edges. I do it by walking on it.

Steve
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Old 06-20-2010, 04:13 PM
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We do the same thing as Steve, always remove all sod, we use a sod lifter, we have both manual and walk behind and for really big boks we have an attachment for two of the excavators.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:15 PM
JP Landscaping JP Landscaping is offline
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I agree. remove the sod and make a definite edge to keep the mulch in. If you don't have an edger, a simple flat shovel will do the trick. It's what I use.
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:47 PM
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I have a Stihl edger and will use that to cut it in. Thanks for the info guys!
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
My question is, do I need to actually remove the grass or should I just use some of that black weed cloth and put the mulch right on top of it?
This seems like a quick way to get the job done but what is the down side to it?
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:14 PM
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Default Down side

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This seems like a quick way to get the job done but what is the down side to it?
If you mean leaving the grass in place, the grass will quickly grow thru the mulch.

If you mean putting down the lawn fabric, it adds to the cost of the job in both time and labor. But, it makes a better job with less ongoing maintenance.

If you mean not using a barrier, I have no idea. I think this method gives a much cleaner transition look to the job.

Steve
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
If you mean putting down the lawn fabric, it adds to the cost of the job in both time and labor. But, it makes a better job with less ongoing maintenance.
I meant this way. It seems like throwing down some fabric and then mulch over the grass is the quick, easy and dirty way to do it and many might be interested in doing this as a way to cut corners.

I was just wondering if there was a down side to this. But I can see how it wouldn't look very nice to do it this way.
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:36 PM
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Default landscape fabric

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I meant this way. It seems like throwing down some fabric and then mulch over the grass is the quick, easy and dirty way to do it and many might be interested in doing this as a way to cut corners.

I was just wondering if there was a down side to this. But I can see how it wouldn't look very nice to do it this way.
I have done flower beds and bush and shrub jobs both ways. The landscape fabric method is by far the best way to go. It does take more time and money (especially if you use quality fabric- heavy), but gives a much more professional lasting job.

Steve
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I meant this way. It seems like throwing down some fabric and then mulch over the grass is the quick, easy and dirty way to do it and many might be interested in doing this as a way to cut corners.

I was just wondering if there was a down side to this. But I can see how it wouldn't look very nice to do it this way.
It is and it's what we refer to as the trunk slammer way of doing it and we get called to fix this half ..... type of work, it's what sets us apart and why we can't keep up, and the clients we work for want it done right the first time.
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