Five tips to know to mulch your yard like a pro

  • Shredded, hardwood mulch around trees, shrubs, and plants can help them thrive all season long.

    Shredded, hardwood mulch around trees, shrubs, and plants can help them thrive all season long. Courtesy of Bertog Landscape Company

Updated 5/14/2021 8:53 AM

The secret to a successful garden is the soil -- protect it with mulch!

Robert Milani, senior landscape architect with Bertog Landscape Company, in Wheeling, Ill., offers the following five tips for enhancing your landscape with mulch:


1. Add mulch in early spring and late fall. In the spring, timing is important because mulch needs to go down before weeds germinate and, ideally, while plants are still emerging and are easier to work around. For winter protection, lay mulch in the fall after you've done your garden cleanup.

2. Choose the correct mulch for the job. Mulch can improve soil structure, drainage and nutrient value. Various types of mulch can be used for different reasons depending on where mulch is needed. Shade trees, evergreens and shrubs typically need shredded, hardwood bark while perennial beds, ground cover, vegetables and ornamental grasses do well with leaf mulch.

3. Use the right technique for the space. Spread two to three inches of mulch evenly throughout beds and steer clear of plant crowns and tree trunks. Avoid creating a "mulch volcano" around trees. Too much mulch that close to the trunk can accelerate bark decay and root rot.

4. Reduce weeds -- and your carbon footprint. Mulch helps discourage weed growth, improves soil structure and drainage, moderates soil temperature and encourages recycling. That's a healthy approach for your plants and for the environment.

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5. Add curb appeal. Mulch can be aesthetically pleasing when thoughtfully selected and applied. Enhance pathways, perennial beds, tree and shrub plantings, playground surfaces and more. As the base of your garden, mulch provides an important purpose. Its job is to foster healthy plants and provide the backdrop for your spectacular landscape.

If you're unsure what type of mulch to use, call Bertog Landscape at (847) 279-0028 and they will be glad to answer your questions.

For information, visit Bertog Landscape Co. on Facebook, Instagram and online at

About Bertog Landscape Co.

Bertog Landscape Co. is a full-service landscape design, landscape construction and landscape maintenance firm based in Wheeling, Ill. The company's suite of services includes irrigation and low-voltage lighting installation.

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