It’s frustrating to put Mulch on your hillside to stabilize it for planting, only to find itself won’t stay in place. Loose-textured Mulch can thoroughly wash in heavy rain, or tumble down in bits and pieces just from gravity and wind. Sometimes, wet Mulch moves as a mass, much like an area rug on a slick floor, presenting a higher risk of mudslide than an untreated slope. The speed of migration depends on the steepness of the hill, how much water flows down it when it rains, and the type of Mulch you choose. The best way to know how to keep Mulch on slopes and it’s from migrating down with gravity depends on these factors.
How to Keep Mulch On Slopes for Our Home Gardening
You can make your Mulch by collecting and repurposing organic matter found in your yard, including leaves, grass clippings, and branches.
Step 1: Making Leaf Mulch
1. Collect leaves
Many homes have leafy trees and plants that provide an excellent mulch source, and leaf mulch is an excellent all-purpose mulch for your garden. You can either gather leaves by raking up ones that fall in the autumn or collect the sheets that you prune off plants.
2. Rake the leaves into a pile
Use a rake or leaf blower to amass all your leaves into a large pile. To prevent damage to the lawnmower blades, pile the leaves on a flat section of the lawn. Spread the leaves out into a layer that’s no more than 2 inches (5 cm) thick.
3. Shred the leaves with a lawnmower
Once the leaves are all piled together in a thin layer, turn on your lawnmower and mow over the pile a few times to chop them into smaller pieces.
4. Use the Mulch right away and store extras
Once the leaves have been shredding shredded, they’re ready to use as Mulch in the garden. Extra Mulch can be stored in a ventilated barrel, a large bag with air holes, or spread out on a tarp and covered from the elements.
Step-2: Making Mulch Combinations
1. Chop up tree branches, bark, and trimmings
Wood also makes great Mulch, and you can make wood or bark Mulch from organic matter from around the yard. Go around your house and collect fallen branches, bark, or tree trimmings pruned from your plants. Put on safety glasses and process the wood and bark through a wood chipper to make a mulch.
2. Collect grass clippings to add to the Mulch
Grass clippings make an ideal addition to leaf mulch, though they aren’t as effective when used alone. After mowing your lawn, rake up the grass clippings. Mix the clippings in with the leaf mulch and use a spade or pitchfork to mix them.
3. Rake up pine needles for your Mulch
Like grass clippings, fallen pine needles can also be mixed-up with leaf mulch. Pine mulch is best used with acid-loving plants. Rake up needles from around your yard and combine them with the leaf mulch using a shovel or pitchfork.
4. Repurpose shredded paper
Newspapers and other types of paper from around the house can also be recycled and turned into Mulch.
Step-3: Using Mulch in the Garden
1. Mulch in summer and winter
In summer, Mulch will help your gardens retain moisture and keep the roots fresh. In winter, the Mulch will protect the plants from frost and help to keep the soil warm. Summer mulches will decay over time, but winter mulch should be removed in spring.
2. Remove old winter mulch
In the spring, when you start gardening again, remove the winter mulch that protected the gardens during colder weather. You can add the removed Mulch to your compost pile.
3. Pull out weeds
Before adding mulch to the garden, go around and pull out all the weeds you find in the bed. Otherwise, the Mulch will protect the weeds and allow them to thrive. This will also create unwanted competition for the plants you’re trying to grow.
4. Add several inches of mulch to your gardens
Apply the Mulch after you’ve finished planting in spring, or preparing the garden for winter. Use a shovel or rake to spread a 2- to 6-inch (5- to 15-cm) layer of mulch over the garden bed.
5. Make a well around the base of the plants
After you spread Mulch out in the garden bed, use your hand or a spade to pull the Mulch away from the base of the plants. This is especially important in shady areas because it will protect the plants from mold, rot, and insects.
Some mulch types stay in place better on steeper slopes. For instance, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality recommends not using wood chips on slopes steeper than 6 percent because they wash away.
For mulches desired to last for longer than three months on slopes steeper than 50 percent, it suggests straw or hay held in place by netting or other stabilizing agents. For extremely steep slopes, vegetative mulches may not work at all.
All mulches will float and wash away in flood, but some are more likely to stray than others. Here are the common types of how to keep Mulch on slopes and their factors:
Chips and Nuggets
Wood chips and bark nuggets are infamous for floating away in heavy rain. If you go this route, get larger chunks that will be heavier.
Shredded Bark or Wood
Shredded Mulch is the right choice because the pieces tangle and hold each other down. Look for medium or coarse ground mulch with a mixture of large and soft sections. Hardwood mulches are more massive – and stay in place – better than softwood (pine) mulch.
Pine straw is my favorite choice because the needles entwine and help it stay put. For this reason, pine straw is often using on slopes.
Remove Landscape Fabric and Plastic Sheeting
If your garden is on a slope or tends to wash out, avoid putting landscape fabric or plastic sheeting underneath your Mulch. These create a beautiful slick surface for the Mulch to slide right out of bed. Instead, to keep weeds at bay, apply multiple thin layers of Mulch, watering each layer to pack it down.
Edging the Beds
The only way to keep Mulch completely in the flower bed or garden is to edge it with something high enough to hold in the Mulch in place during a storm. Some ideas include:
Wood, metal, plastic, or stone edging can help keep Mulch in its place. Make sure the edging is several inches high.
Edging plants make a high border to hold in Mulch. Monkey Grass (Liriope sp.), Hostas, and ground covers are great choices if planted carefully together along the edge of the bed.
Pine Straw Edging
Gardeners who love their bark or chip Mulch may succeed by edging the beds with a foot-wide row of pine straw to catch floating nuggets.
A small trench (3-4″ deep) around the edge of the flower bed can catch washed-out Mulch before it gets into your grass. It’s easy to rake it from the trench then back into the bed.
Edging with Mulch
You can also try piling your Mulch deeper around the edges of the bed to form a low barrier that may keep it from washing as much.
Synthetic materials can be considered another type of Mulch. In flower beds and shrub plantings between the soil and the Mulch, the nonwoven material is laid down in an intermediate layer. In this case, the service life of the Mulch is extending
And you can learn about how to keep Mulch on slopes. The organic Mulch decomposes more slowly, and the mineral mulch does not mix with the soil.