Top Mulching Mistakes
and How to Avoid Them

Mulching is a critical part of gardening that helps to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and improve soil health. However, some common mulching mistakes can harm your plants and cause unnecessary problems. Here are the top mulching mistakes and how to avoid them.

Applying Too Much Mulch

One of the most common mulching mistakes is applying too much mulch. While a thick layer of mulch may seem like a good idea, it can harm your plants by preventing water and air from reaching the soil. Additionally, too much mulch can create a breeding ground for pests and diseases.

Solution: Apply a thin layer of mulch, no more than 2-3 inches deep. This will allow water and air to penetrate the soil while still providing the benefits of mulching.

Using the Wrong Type of Mulch

Not all mulch is created equal, and using the wrong type of mulch can negatively affect your plants. For example, some types of mulch may contain harmful chemicals or be too acidic for specific plants.

Solution: Choose the correct type of mulch for your plants and garden. Organic mulches, such as shredded leaves or compost, are generally safe for most plants and provide added benefits such as improving soil health.

Mulching Too Close to Plant Stems

Mulching too close to plant stems can cause them to rot or become diseased. This is because mulch can trap moisture and create a humid environment ideal for pests and diseases.

Solution: Apply mulch at least 2-3 inches away from plant stems, creating a ring around the base of the plant. This will help to prevent moisture buildup and protect the plant from disease.

Not Removing Old Mulch

Over time, mulch can break down and decompose, creating a layer of organic matter that can harm your plants. If you don’t remove old mulch before applying new mulch, you may be adding more organic matter than your plants can handle.


Solution: Before applying new mulch, remove any old mulch that has decomposed or become matted. This will allow air and water to reach the soil, preventing the buildup of harmful organic matter.


By following these tips and avoiding these common mulching mistakes, you can create a thriving outdoor space that’s sure to impress.

Why Choose Schlegel Barkdust?

Schlegel Barkdust has provided high-quality gardening and landscaping supplies for over 20 years. We are proud to be a family-owned business and love helping our customers create their dream yards. If you are thinking of getting some winter compost or mulch for your yard, give us a call or check out our materials calculator to learn exactly how much you need!