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Bark mulch is a true magic potion. It can actually work some small miracles in your own garden. It is not for nothing that it is often said that this would be an organic garden helper. The prerequisite, however, is that the mulch is applied as it should be applied. And the when, i.e. the right time, also plays an important role. So there are enough reasons to take a closer look at the topic.


Mulch is a term that comes up again and again in connection with the garden or even more frequently in agriculture. This always means unrotted organic material. This can be, for example, grass clippings, straw, sawdust or crushed pieces of bark. The application of mulch in the garden or on a field is then called mulching. Above all, it should fulfill three important tasks:

  • Protective function: Mulch keeps the soil cooler longer in summer and provides warmth in autumn
  • Nutrient supply: Mulch gradually decomposes, becomes humus and thus a nutrient supplier
  • Weed Prevention: Mulch significantly reduces light penetration, allowing very few weeds to grow beneath the layer

Bark mulch consists mainly of bark, which is mainly produced in sawmills when a tree trunk is peeled off. This bark is coarsely chopped up with a chopper, but must not be ground. After chopping, it should dry for about three months before being packaged and used. Bark mulch packs are available in various sizes from specialist garden shops, from nurseries or directly from a sawmill.

tip: When buying bark mulch, you should make sure that the proportion of fresh wood in the mulch is as low as possible. This can be checked, for example, by a visual inspection.

Apply bark mulch correctly

Applying bark mulch to the ground is very easy and requires no special knowledge. A few tools that hobby gardeners usually already have are advantageous. This includes:

  • wheelbarrow
  • garden shovel
  • rake
  • garden rake
  • folding rule

Typically, mulch is applied to the soil around the plants. The aim is to achieve a closed surface that is as even as possible and has no gaps. The thickness of the mulch layer is particularly important. You should definitely move in a range between five and seven centimeters. If the layer is thinner, it can no longer protect against flying seeds of weeds and also cannot optimally regulate the temperature. If, on the other hand, it is stronger, there is a risk that the pieces of bark will begin to mold. This is the best way to go about mulching:

  • Pour mulch from the sack onto a wheelbarrow
  • from there spread the mulch roughly with the garden shovel
  • use a rake or rake to ensure an even surface
  • regularly check the thickness of the layer with a ruler
  • refill or remove material if necessary

If the entire bag of mulch is not used up, you should close the bag well and store it in a dry place. The material can then be used later. It may be a good idea to poke small holes in the bag to allow for good ventilation.


There is no set time when you should apply bark mulch. As a rule of thumb, it should always be applied outside of the growing season. Autumn and early spring are ideal. The question of how often you have to mulch cannot be answered easily either. As already mentioned, the goal should always be a closed layer. If there are gaps, new material can also be applied in summer to be on the safe side. Incidentally, correct application also means that the bark mulch is applied directly to the ground. Under no circumstances should it be applied to a layer of snow or ice.

path design

One of the many advantages that bark mulch has is that it can be used to create paths very easily and very inexpensively. It is almost perfect as a covering for a wide variety of garden paths. However, it can also only be used for path limitations. If it is used as a covering, weeds in particular can be wonderfully enclosed with it. In addition, there is no sealing of the soil. Rainwater simply drains through the mulch layer. However, the layer usually has to be renewed at least once a year.

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