Maintaining Mulched Areas

Using mulch is a great way to add visual interest to the landscape. It can be used to create a neat appearance and help define the edges of planting beds. It also has a variety of excellent benefits.

Once mulch has been applied, it is relatively easy to maintain…but, mulch can also look messy if not contained in a planting bed or other area such as a path.

curved path with border edging keeps dark much off path
Border edging keeps mulch from spilling onto the path in this landscape. Photo credit: pistildesigns Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
people digging an edge with shovels to a garden planting bed
A deeply dug edge creates a well defined garden bed and keeps mulch in place. Gregory Garnich Flickr CC BY 2.0

Considerations for Maintaining Mulched Areas

  • Use raised edging materials to keep mulch contained
  • Dig a deep edge or trench along planting beds with a flat garden spade to keep mulch off of turf or other areas
  • Renew organic mulch yearly or as needed
  • Buy mulch in bulk to save money
  • Keep mulch away from trunks of trees and shrubs
  • Rake or break up old matted mulch
  • Avoid using inorganic mulches in areas where leaves and other debris can collect


Additional Resources:


South Carolina – Mulch


Texas – Mulching