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Mulch Maintenance 101: How to Refresh and Care for Your Perth Garden Beds

As backyard lovers and gardening enthusiasts from the most isolated city in the world, we Perthians take pride in our lush green oasis. Mulch upholds a vital role in Western Australian gardens with its beneficial qualities that protect, nourish, and improve your soil. However, the responsibilities of garden-keeping stretch far beyond the initial mulch dressing. Let’s delve into the essential aspects of mulch maintenance to ensure your Perth garden beds continually radiate vibrance.

Understand Your Mulch Type

Understanding the nature of the mulch in your garden bed is vital. Popular choices range from black mulch and enviromulch to wood chip and coarse compost. Non-composted wood chips take a longer time to decay compared to organically rich compost. Thus, comprehend your mulch type to have a clear idea about its decomposition timeline. 

Recognise When to Replace or Top-Up

Primarily, observe the mulch layer's thickness in your garden beds. With Perth's hot weather prone to accelerate decomposition, a thin mulch layer is generally an indication to top-up. A standard rule of thumb is to maintain a consistency of about 5-10 centimetres. A beneficial tip, particularly for watery mulches like compost or pea straw, is to replenish them in autumn or spring in alignment with planting seasons. This ensures nutrients are readily available for your plants by the time their growth kicks in. 

How to Refresh Your Mulch

When your mulch feels lacklustre, it's time to infuse some ray of life into your garden beds. Follow this step-by-step guide to renew your mulch and keep your garden in pristine condition. 

Step 1: Evaluate your Garden Beds

Inspect your existing mulch. If it has reduced to an insufficient thin layer, add fresh mulch. However, if the mulch still stands at the right thickness yet seems lifeless, it may just need a good fluff-up. 

Step 2: Fluff Up or Replace?

Fluffing up involves raking the mulch to promote air circulation and prevent it from forming a dense layer that impedes water penetration. If the mulch is significantly decomposed, the better option is to replace it. Remove the old layer using a spade or garden fork, and add it to your compost bin to recycle it back into the garden.

Step 3: Apply Fresh Mulch

Before applying fresh mulch, ensure the garden bed is well-watered. Scatter a layer of compost or well-rotted manure if required, and then add your chosen mulch up to a thickness of 5 - 10 centimetres. Water lightly again to settle the mulch into place. 

Pro Tip: Never pile mulch directly against plant stems or tree trunks, as it might cause rot.

Following these guidelines for mulch maintenance can help your garden beds retain sufficient moisture, suppress weeds, and, ultimately, create a more prosperous soil environment for your plants to flourish.

Managing Pests and Mulch

Lastly, don't forget about the occasional unwanted visitors - pests. Slugs and snails can sometimes hide within moist mulch. If you notice an infestation, consider a drier mulch type or call in pest control experts for assessment and treatment.

Mulch, often overlooked, serves as the true unsung hero of a successful Perth garden. At Little Loads, our mulches will leave your garden beds refreshed and revitalised, helping make your property the envy of the neighbourhood. Contact us today to find the ideal mulch for your location.


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