Adding Mulch to a Flower Bed

Posted by John on August 6th, 2011


Now that the shed is done, we’re going to wrap up the flower beds around it by adding mulch.  Mulching a flower bed is a fairly quick and easy job, plus it will allow us to get a feel for how much we’ll need for the front of the house, which we haven’t done yet.

The tools I used for this job are:

1.  A flower bed edger ( a flat shovel will work too)

2.  Good quality landscape fabric

3.  11 bags of black dyed mulch

4.  A box cutter with a sharp edge

5.  Garden or works gloves to prevent your hands from being stained by black dye

DSC03660-1024x768I thought I would use some hold down nails for the landscape fabric, but I didn’t end up using them, thus the hammer.

We purchased 11 bags of 2 cu. ft black dyed mulch.  You’re going to need enough to put a good 3-4 inches of mulch down.  Also, be aware that the mulch is moist when you buy it and it will leak out all over the trunk of your car, so be prepared to put down a tarp.  I definitely don’t know about that from experience.

To start this job, make sure the flower beds are mostly weeded.  I’m using the edger to better define the border between the grass and the mulch bed.  If you don’t have an edger, you can use a shovel, but don’t skip this step.

DSC03662-1024x768Once the flower bed has been edged, it’ll look like this:

DSC03663-1024x768Now we’re ready for the landscape fabric.  Landscape fabric commonly runs 3 feet wide, so it makes sense to have your flower beds about the same width.  To apply landscape fabric, run the roll out to the length of the bed and use a box cutter to cut it.



Once the roll is cut to length, we’ll need to make slits in the fabric to account for the shrubs and bushes. You also have the option of running the fabric right up to the shrub and cutting it completely through, then rolling out a whole new section on the other side of the shrub.

Now we’ll lay the fabric onto the flower bed and tuck it under the shrub.


Once the fabric is in place, I can start applying mulch. I fill up my wheel barrow with two bags of black mulch and use a flat shovel to pick up and apply mulch. I start adding mulch first to the outer edges against where the flower bed meets the grass. Next, I’ll add mulch to the middle section of the of the flower bed being sure to cover all bare areas of the fabric. I’ll leave a small area near the far side of the fabric bare for my next section of landscape fabric to overlap. When applying mulch, be sure to apply liberally and evenly.


That’s pretty much all there is to it!  Continue this process until you have everything covered.


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