How To Keep Your Mulch From Turning Bad Before Use

Mulch is one of the best ways to keep your garden looking good year-round, and its many insulative properties are in high demand. The only problem is that you cannot really buy mulch in small packages, and most people purchase large quantities assuming they will be able to use it all at once. It is easy to end up with too much mulch and then have no idea what to do with the leftovers, which can go bad if not looked after quickly. Here are a few tips to take care of your mulch from its delivery to its application. 

Mulch Delivery

While waiting for your mulch delivery, you should have a few things prepared. You should have two areas: one for mulch that you will use straight away and one for mulch that you expect to be left over. When your mulch delivery arrives, ask the driver to dump it correctly onto the two sections. Once the mulch delivery has taken place, you need to immediately apply the mulch that you have room for. The quicker it is in position, the less chance it has to develop fungus or mould. At the end of this process, you will accurately know how much leftover mulch you need to store.

Mulch Storage

Mulch comprises mostly organic material that can be anything from shredded tree bark to hay and straw. One thing all of these organic materials have in common is that they need to be stored in a dry place to reduce the chance for mould growth or decomposition. Firstly, try to find a shaded place, either in a shed or under tree foliage. Then, lay out a tarp to cover as much ground as you can and start putting the mulch on top. Try and keep this pile as thin as possible, spreading out the mulch evenly over the tarp. Then simply put another tarp or some form of plastic sheeting over the top. Allow a few holes for air, and you are mostly done!

What Does This Storage Do?

For mulch to stay useful, it needs to be as dry as possible. The denser that the mulch is compacted, the more likely it is that it will rot in the middle, which is why you want an evenly dispersed pile. The tarp on the bottom stops moisture from coming up into the pile of mulch, which is another way it will begin to decompose. While you want some airflow, which is why you should have some holes on the top layer of sheeting, you don't want to have too much space for rain and dew to get in. The ventilation will keep the mulch as dry as possible and keep it good for many weeks. However, this will not last forever, and you should try to get rid of this mulch as soon as you can.