Successful Edging and Mulching Tips with Dave Cantwell

Assistant Horticulturist Dave Cantwell offers useful tips on how you can create clean edges around your garden beds and best mulching practices. Happy gardening!

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This entry was posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2011 at 11:47 am and is filed under Summer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Successful Edging and Mulching Tips with Dave Cantwell”

  1. Jane L. Sturgeon

    Great video on mulching. I do have a question….I have used cedar wood chips around my trees for over 16 years; should I now remove all this mulch and replaces it with the leaves from the tree itself? And where do I get good leaf mulch if I don’t have enough from my own trees?

    Thank you! CBG is GREAT!

  2. PlantCast Administrator

    Hi Jane,

    Thanks for your interest and CBG support!

    You ask a good question, and seeing that you’ve been mulching with cedar for so long, save yourself time and money and simply begin replenishing with leaf mulch when it’s needed. You’ll be moving things into a better direction, and that’s always the good news. Over time, the soil acidity will return to normal and the nutrients in the leaf mulch will do their better work, as well.

    Certainly retain your trees’ leaves for composting by piling it up and shredding it with the lawn mower—the bigger the pile the better, as you need a certain amount to have the critical mass necessary to generate the bio-activity that heats up and breaks down the leaves. This material will be ready for use in the spring. Also consider widening the mulch areas beneath the trees; extending out to the drip line or further, if practical.

    A couple of sources for leaf mulch that I know of are Red’s Garden Center on Dundee Road in Northbrook, and the Mulch Center on Milwaukee Avenue in Deerfield. Both deliver in bulk.

    Thanks for your comment, and feel free to keep us posted on your progress or any other questions you may have. Our Garden is your garden, too.

  3. Mulch Ado about Everything | My Chicago Botanic Garden

    […] Defining the planting bed with a cut-turf edge is the most naturalistic, economical, and efficient method that you can use. Yet some folks over-do this edging and create such deep cuts that they can be ankle-twisters more resembling irrigation canals than their intended purpose requires. The best edge is cut with a sharpened spade with the top of the blade angled out 15 degrees from vertical, and cut only 2 to 3 inches deep. If viewed in profile, the resulting wedge of soil proves to be a strong-enough “foot” to support the turf (and its root mass) from the weight of foot traffic and lawn mowers while resisting erosion. Coupled with mulch properly in-filled immediately adjacent to this edge, you have in place an edging system that requires little maintenance through the season, and you’ll find that the mulch will handily support the lawn mower wheels, which will eliminate the turf scalping commonly occurring when the wheels drop lower into the bed; placing the blades at a sharp, downward angle, rather than keeping them optimally parallel to the turf. And because the mulch is very airy compared to the soil, the grass roots tend to not grow out into the mulch. It’s truly a win-win situation: a sharp, clean edge derived from a modest investment of time and effort. (Watch our edging how-to here.) […]

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