bark dust, bark mulchA simple layer of bark transforms the landscape, can cut water usage up to 50 percent – and lots more!

Bark, whether bark dust, chips, mulch or beauty bark, is produced out of chipped or shredded tree bark. Coarser forms are known as bark nuggets. They all decompose slowly and only need to be reapplied every few years.

Spread between plants in a landscape, bark holds in precious moisture, prevents erosion, insulates and protects plants in weather extremes. A layer discourages weeds and creates a more uniform, serene feel throughout the landscape that accentuates the beauty of your plantings. Here are a few professional pointers for success.

Start with good soil built up with humus, fertilizer and other amendments to foster a complete, living environment for your plants’ roots. Get the ground as weed free as possible. At this time you can apply a pre-emergent herbicide around non-food plants.

While fir is the cheapest, it also gives slivers and is orange in color. If you like to work in the dirt a lot or if kids will be playing in the area, hemlock is a better bet. It is richer looking, doesn’t give slivers and fleas don’t like it either. Then there is nugget bark, awesome for water runoff or windy areas.

As with all mulch, too much can injure plants by keeping the soil too wet and limiting available oxygen to the roots. A couple inches is bark dust, bark mulchabout right; don’t exceed four and leave a few inches of breathing room around the plant’s base. Occasionally, dig down through the mulch to make sure the soil has sufficient moisture and is not harboring pests.

Improperly composted mulches can leach nitrogen from the soil and/or carry loads of viable weed seed; make sure of what you’re getting. Of course, if Frontier Landscaping is doing the job you needn’t worry!

Pile on the benefits in your landscape this year with a blanket of bark!