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Schill Grounds Management Blog

Do You Need Mulch? (Yes.) Here’s Why, and What Factors Impact Mulch Pricing

Spring Mulch Blog

Mulch is a key step in preparing your Northeast Ohio property for the growing season. Now is the time to add a fresh layer of mulch to enhance your landscape’s appearance and improve plant health. You might be wondering, is mulch really necessary every year? Is mulch an “extra” or a must-have? (Some property managers ask this, especially as they are reviewing spring cleanup to-dos and landscape enhancements.)

Mulch is about so much more than curb appeal.

Sure, it improves how landscape beds look by creating a rich, dark background that gives flowers more pop and makes the property look more polished and defined. But beyond looks, mulch is an important annual enhancement because it:

  • Insulates soil against fluctuating temperatures
  • Helps retain soil moisture
  • Prevents erosion
  • Reduces lawn mower damage
  • Suppresses weeds

So, is mulch necessary? Yes. Do you need fresh mulch every year in Ohio? Yes. Do we consider mulch a must-have? Absolutely, if you want to take care of your commercial grounds as an asset and preserve the value of your landscape.

Let’s talk about when is the best time to mulch, and two factors that impact the price of mulch: type of mulch and how mulch is applied. 

Mulch landscaping

When is the best time to mulch your Ohio landscape?

Mulch tends to fade as summer wears on and you can lose some coverage during typical fall cleanup. During Ohio winters, mulch can break down into the soil. By spring, it’s time for a fresh layer. So, when should you mulch? Mulch should go down after spring cleanup and weed control/fertilizer.

Spring cleanup removes debris from beds, next comes weed prevention and plant nutrition. Finally, we apply mulch to reinforce weed suppression and to protect the soil and plants. One thing to consider: If your property includes flowering trees and shrubs that are blooming now and will drop petals, you might want to wait until plants cycle through the spring bloom.

While spring is an ideal time to mulch, some commercial property owners also find that fall mulching adds extra protection to their property and helps prevent winter damage. Even with a spring application, some properties might need an additional fall layer of mulch to stabilize soil temperatures and help retain moisture during the cold season.

mulch typesDifferent Types of mulch

There are various types of mulch for commercial properties, but what’s best for your landscape? The most common types of mulch used in Northeast Ohio are bark, hardwood and premium mulch that contains compost.

Bark: Bark mulch comes in different sized nuggets and is great for pathways and play areas. Because of its larger pieces, it is less effective at retaining soil moisture and regulating soil temperature.

Hardwood: Shredded hardwood mulch is the most affordable and widely used. What we like about it is that the shredded hardwood stays put on slopes (as opposed to nuggets that can “roll”). It is slow to break down into soil. But because of that, hardwood mulch can compact and block rain and nutrients from reaching soil. Hardwood mulches tend to make soil more alkaline, which should be considered when fertilizers are applied.

Premium Dyed Bark Mulch: Our premium mulch is triple-shredded so it spreads evenly and dyed for a rich color. It also includes compost that breaks down gradually into soil, adding important nutrients for plants. Basically, this is mulch with benefits. It is an upgrade from typical bark or hardwood mulch, but you’re getting more value from the mulch because it’s working harder for your landscape.

mulch loadingDifferent Ways to Mulch (and how that impacts price)

As with any service, manual labor requires more time and resources—and more time increases the price. Whenever we can mechanize a process, it improves efficiency and can decrease the price. Landscape beds that contain lots of plantings and smaller spaces need to be mulched by hand. Our team will use wheelbarrows and tools to spread the mulch, ensuring proper coverage and depth.

In large spaces, we can use a mulch blower that dispenses mulch from our truck directly into the landscape bed. You’ll get even application and efficient coverage. Any type of mulch can be hand-applied or blown into landscape beds. The type of mulch you choose and the way mulch is applied are the two factors that impact price. (Learn more about landscape pricing in our free e-book.)

Mulch is another layer of protection for your outdoor asset

At Schill Grounds Management, we think of every landscape as an asset and the services we provide as a type of insurance. We not only protect your plants and grass, we enhance your property and increase its value. So, is mulch necessary? Yes, if you want to optimize soil health, keep plants healthy and prevent damage from the environment and everyday traffic on your property.

The good news is you have mulching options, so you can adjust the type of mulch, and way it is applied, to suit your budget and property’s needs. Let’s talk about how we can enhance your property today so you’re ready for summer. Call us any time at 440.327.3030or fill out this simple contact form and we’ll get in touch with you. Have customer feedback for us? Use our new customer experience form to provide feedback on how we can improve your services or any issues you may be having.

Topics: Landscape Maintenance, Enhancements & Add-On Services

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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