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Schill Grounds Management Blog

Do You Know When To Mulch Your Commercial Property?

knowing when to mulch will improve the look and health of your landscapingApplying fresh mulch is practically a rite of spring for commercial properties in Northeast Ohio, and there are good reasons why. Mulch acts as a protective barrier — it locks in moisture to nourish plants, and keeps out weeds to help with ongoing maintenance efforts. But once mulch is past its prime it loses its luster and function.

Mulch has a “shelf life” of about 10 months, depending on the type. It simply wears out from sun, rain, landscape cleanups and decomposition. Now is the time to plan for this year’s mulch application — skipping this crucial landscape maintenance task will sacrifice the curb appeal and health of plants on your property.

Understanding When To Mulch And Why Mulch Matters

So, let’s talk about how mulch can improve your landscape investment and what factors play into how much mulch you need and when you need it.

Time New Mulch To Meet Your Budget

Spring is traditionally when commercial property owners in Northeast Ohio want to lay down a fresh layer of mulch, while the first flowers are blooming and tree buds are popping. Indeed, spring is the ideal time to plan your mulch application, but you might choose to wait on laying down a fresh cover based on when plants will be pruned. (You don’t want to rake away your fresh layer of mulch along with the pruning debris.)

Also, talk to your landscape professional about mulch pricing in summertime, when there is less demand. What’s important is to work mulch into your landscape budget cycle, whether the fresh layer goes down the first of spring, mid-summer or in fall after cleanup. Your property’s appearance and plants’ health will benefit from a professional mulch application no matter when you decide to do it.

Refresh The Curb Appeal

The most obvious reason to lay down a fresh layer of mulch each year is because it adds a crisp, clean look to landscape beds.

By covering faded, scattered mulch with even a thin application of mulch (as little as 1½ inches and no more than 4 inches in areas that are bare), you improve the curb appeal of the property. This is important for Northeast Ohio property owners that lease their space or want to attract visitors to a retail environment.

New mulch gives a commercial property that cared-for look that communicates attention to detail. When property owners let tasks like mulching slide, the property can look rundown and deter business.

Protect Plants & Prevent Weeds

Landscaping mulch conceals plant rootsBeyond the cosmetic benefits of new mulch, the plant health advantages are reason alone to make sure your beds are covered this season. Landscaping mulch conceals plant roots, protecting these vital “veins” that deliver food and nourishment. And mulch works hard to suppress weeds, which can reduce labor-intensive maintenance efforts later on in summer, when weeds are most persistent.

With a new layer of mulch, you’ll lock moisture into the soil and help with irrigation efforts — mulch helps conserve water while preventing erosion and runoff.

Put Down The Right Amount of Mulch

So how much mulch do you need this year? Is there such a thing as too much? (Yes!) And does a thin layer just to refresh really matter? (Yes, again!)

The amount of mulch your commercial property needs depends on whether you have kept up with new mulch on an annual basis, the condition of beds, and how much mulch you lost due to fall or spring cleanup and weather conditions. Some landscaped areas can get more saturated, causing mulch to wash out.

A landscape professional will evaluate your beds and prescribe the proper amount of mulch for each area. Some beds might require more mulch than others. One year your beds might require a 1½-inch cosmetic cover to refresh beds, while the next year you could need a 3-inch layer of mulch in areas that are going bare.

Work Mulch Into Your Commercial Property's Annual Landscape Plan

The bottom line is, mulch matters. Landscaping mulch is beneficial for plants and boosts curb appeal, making it an essential element of commercial landscape maintenance for property owners and managers in Northeast Ohio. A landscape professional can help you decide how much mulch you need and tip you off on when to mulch, too.

Let’s talk more about how mulch is part of a comprehensive commercial landscape maintenance program that protects your outdoor investment. Call us any time at (440) 327-3030, or fill out this simple contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.

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Image: Moving mulch

Topics: Pest, Disease, and Weed Control, Landscape Maintenance

Jerry Schill

Written by Jerry Schill

Jerry Schill is president and co-owner of Schill Grounds Management. He's received numerous accolades for his leadership in the Northeast Ohio business community and the commercial landscaping and snow management industry, including the National Leadership Award from SNOW Magazine and Lawn and Landscape Magazine. He is an active member of the Legislative Committee for the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA) and the Snow and Ice Committee for the Ohio Landscapers Association (OLA).

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