Mulch Madness


yard mulch


Like Scottie Pippen. I don’t know what’s up with the hoops references; we just finished softball. (My team lost first round in single elimination playoffs last night. Meanwhile my brother’s team took the championship in his league — Way to go!)

baseball tournament

Joe has wanted to mulch the front yard for quite awhile. But he had some other projects to knock out before getting to this fun project: Fix his grandma’s AC, his cousin’s bike, his roommate’s truck, his own furnace, aside from his day job. Superman! Finally at a good place, we were able to tackle the landscaping last weekend.

how to mulch

We’ve experimented with a few kinds of mulch. We needed to see which color actually looked best on the lawn next to the house. (Red is furthest, brown is closest, and gold around the tree.) Each bag was less than $3 and would get covered up, so it didn’t hurt to test them. Joe had his heart set on red originally, but after looking at the choices, turns out he has a heart of gold.

how to select mulch

We went back to Menards, where we’d originally bought the three test bags.

red mulch

But the gold went up from $2.50, even when red is usually most expensive and popular.

gold mulch

We checked out brown, gold, black and red. Seeing the prices go back up was a bit discouraging after having fallen in love with the gold. We turned our frowns upside down and tried our luck at Home Depot… and ended up finding a better bargain on another brand of gold!

mulch sale

Check out that price tag. Way up top ^

how to select the best mulch

We’ll take all the bags, please.

rose mulch

Well not quite, but pretty darn close!


Getting to Work

DIY yard mulch

This was one of three trips to the Deeps. (Not shown: Joe’s cart!)

how to mulch your yard

Before putting down anymore woodchip, we sprayed the existing grass/weeds with this to hopefully keep down any green creeping through in the future.

Roundup yard mulch

And weed whipped just to be sure.

landscaping weed whip

We’ve heard to lay down plastic lining first, in order to be 100% sure nothing grows beneath. (Good horror movie title?) But we didn’t really want to plastic-up the yard. Joe figures he can just weed spray every year. It does require some maintenance, but we’ll have to redo the top layer of mulch every year anyway, when it starts to fade.

how to mulch your yard

Since this is our first time, we needed to do a thick base layer.

mulching your yard raking

Which involved more chips than we expected.

before and after picture mulch

I’ll give you a spoiler picture, just to see the difference this made. For a total of about $200.

landscaping with mulch

It must have been walk-o-clock because the whole neighborhood was passing by and watching us get a workout.

I worked on ripping open and pouring the bags out, while Joe dug a trench.

digging a trench for mulch

He dug a small trench along the curb about 1′ wide and 4″ deep to prevent wood chips from washing away into the street.

mulching your yard

We pressed them in.

mulching and landscaping yard

digging a trench for mulching

The whole trench took awhile, but by then the chips were out of the bags

landscaping ideas

and ready to be raked.

Finished Product

yard landscaping ideas mulch

It looks so much nicer than before.

gold vs red mulch

And the gold brings out a bunch of different colors in the house.

Any Landscaping Tips?

It was actually a fun project. Sometimes I like to set a goal for myself to work on something self-serving after accomplishing some of my not-so-favorite projects on the to-do list. Anyone else do this? If I have to get groceries, which I find kind of fun, I’ll make sure to do dishes first. Or I’ve been looking at new bedding, but have set it as a reward for next week. Delayed gratification for the Win! So you might not think hauling 80 bags of mulch is something to look forward to, but the end result is night-and-day. We loved every part of the process. Even after three trips to Home Depot, we were in good spirits. Until the next day when our bodies caught up to us. Oh, my achin’ back!

Just for Fun

Since starting this in November, we’ve had some steady traffic to the site. From some unexpected places!

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