Bark chips can be an important addition to any garden and this is for good reason. To get a clear idea, just consider this;
● Bark chips are aesthetically pleasing to look at and very attractive ● They are excellent at helping to suppress those unwanted weeds ● They help in the conservation of the soil moisture ● They offer great resistance to blowing winds as well as good compaction
The list can go on,but I'm sure you are beginning to see why bark chips are highly prized by most gardners. That said, it is very critical that the bark chips be layed correctly.
If the bark chips are not layed correctly, there is a real risk that plants can be compromised. The good news is that it is not difficult to lay bark chips intelligently and without seeking anyone's help.
Here is a simple five step process;
Step 1 - Clear all weeds
You first need to ensure that the area in which you will lay the bark chips is free from weeds. This means that you most likely have to pull out the weeds or, better still, take a garden fork and lightly cultivate the area.
Step 2 - Spread the bark chips loosely
The bark chips then have to be spread evenly across the area, ensuring that they remain loose and are at least two to four inches thick.. If the layer becomes too thick or is compacted, you will invite all sorts of unwanted insects, and starve the plants of the much needed water.
This is something we definitely do not want!
Should you percieve that you have added too much of the bark chips, immediately remove the excess and loosen up the layer. This will loosen up the potential compacting and ensure that the layer is thin enough to allow lots of water to the plants.
Step 3 - Lay the bark chips away from plant stems and trucks
Ensure that the bark chips are not layed too closely to the plant trucks and stems. Infact, it is recommended that the bark chips be at least six inches away from plant trunks and stems.
Laying your bark chips at least six inches away from plant stems and trunks is a very good safety measure. With this type of safety measure, you will have peace of mind knowing that your precious plants will not rot due to attracting moisture and will not be host to unwanted rodents.
Step 4 - Add lots of water to the layer
After correctly spreading your bark chips out to the correct level of depth, you then need to water it. This is a crucial step that so many people just ignore.
Watering the bark chips thoroughly after laying them is important for one key reason - It helps prevent the formation of water-repelling fungal mycelial thats often found on the surface of the mulch
Step 5 - Monitor and maintain consistently
You then finally need to put in place a good maintanance program. Do not by any means adopt a "set it and forget" attitude. You need to regularly inspect the layer of the bark chips. You goal in doing this is two fold;
1. You want to ensure that there are absolutely no compacted areas in the layed bark. If there are, you need to immediately loosen these areas up with a garden folk
2. You want to be 100% certain that there is no area of the bark chips layer in which some fungi is developing.
Now, there you are. This is a very simple yet effective method that you can use to lay bark chips. You don't even need some expensive tools to accomplish this. A garden fork and some gloves is all you really need.
Just be sure you're not using bark chips that are beginning to decompose as they may be too acidic and may actually harm your plants
Best of luck in keeping your garden outstanding! If you need some bark chips contact us for great prices