Mike and I spent three hours apiece this morning, amid threats of torrential rains, spreading mulch to make Earl happy. Well, to make me happy too in the end as I hope to pull fewer weeds and water my plants less often.
Spreading mulch is hard work. Whether you have a truck deliver it loose, which we’ve done in the past, or you purchase bags at Lowe’s or Home Depot, the actual labor falls on you. If you have a truck dump it on your driveway, you have to shovel it into wheelbarrows and move it to the proper plant bed. If you purchase bags, you carry one to the proper place but pay more for each one.
This year we purchased bags and set them around the yard. We did a final weed control procedure and then started laying the mulch. Many plants were already several inches high, so the labor was more intensive. By that I mean, you need to lay the mulch by hand rather than pouring it from the bag so you don’t bombard the flowers. They don’t want it on their greening foliage. It’s meant to be on the soil.
Some years we’ve put the mulch down first. But that means disturbing it to plant flowers later. That’s equally labor intensive. So the bottom line is that mulch is at least one day’s worth of back breaking work no matter how you look at it. But then if Earl and I are both happy for an entire summer season, maybe it’s worth it.