put down mulchEvery year I contemplate whether I should put down mulch in my garden beds. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, but when I do, it’s a big job. And spring is typically when you start to see landscape companies spreading mulch in the yards of homes and businesses in the community.

This may not seem like a topic related to organizing or productivity, but it does relate to using a process which does optimize productivity.  The process I use to put down mulch may be different than yours, but a process is used all the same. Whether you hire it done, or do it yourself, there is a process involved.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, a process involves a series of steps or tasks that are performed in a specific order. You have to do this before you can do that.  Let’s look at how to use a process to put down mulch in your yard.

Knowing when the best time of year to put down mulch is important as mentioned in this article on A Nest With A Yard’s website. There are different schools of thought about when to mulch, but it seems that most apply it in the spring. This is the first step in the process, determining when to do it.

There are options to get the job done. The easiest is by hiring a landscape company to deliver the mulch and spread it. This option requires no labor on your part, but is the most expensive and still requires a process as shown below.

You can also have a company deliver the mulch so you can do it yourself.  This option is less expensive but labor intensive. It can also be time-sensitive if they dump the mulch in your driveway and you can’t get your car out until it’s all spread. If you have another place to store it until you can get it spread, it may not be an issue.  I’ve done this in the past and vowed never to do it this way again!

Another route to take is to buy bags of mulch and do it yourself. I decided to use bags this year and created the diy process shown below.  This option is less expensive and less labor intensive than having it delivered and you do the mulching yourself.  Bags of mulch go on sale in the spring that will save you some bucks. And this way you can work on it one area at a time when you have the time, it may take a while but you can get it done to your liking.

Hire it out

  1. Determining when to do it is the first step as mentioned above.
  2. Research landscape companies to find one that is within your budget to deliver and spread the required amount of mulch. Ask if a weed prevention application is put down before the mulch, and if they charge extra for this service.
  3. Schedule the chosen landscape company to come to your house for an estimate of the work.
  4. Schedule the work to be done when you are home so you can make sure the work is done to your satisfaction.
  5. On the scheduled day, sit back and watch the work being done knowing that you saved yourself a lot of labor!

Do it yourself using bags

  1. Determining when to do it is the first step as mentioned above.
  2. Decide which type of mulch that you will use. I’m using cedar mulch in the backyard and basic brown mulch in the front yard. I typically need about 3.5 yards of mulch for the front and backyards, but that doesn’t matter so much since I’m picking up about 6 bags at a time.
  3. Check the cost of the type of mulch you will use at nurseries or hardware stores for the best prices. HINT: hardware stores are typically less expensive than a nursery. Also, research weed preventative products to apply before you put down mulch.
  4. Purchase the bags of mulch and any other required supplies prior to starting the work.
  5. Get rid of weeds or other debris in the work area as a preliminary step.
  6. Apply weed preventative according to package instructions.
  7. Put down mulch in the work area. Using bags makes it easier to get it into areas around plants without damaging them. When you run out of steam, or bags, you’re done for the day.
  8. When it’s time to put down more mulch, repeat this process in another area starting with step 4. Before you know it, your mulching project will be complete!