I just bought a house and the previous owner loved his mulch. Every year he added a new layer of mulch to the landscaping in front of the house. This led to several layers of mulch coming in contact with the brick face of the house which they say you should NOT do so that the brick can dry and breathe. Thinking it would be an easy fix to just rake the mulch away from the brick, I discovered that I had to dig down at least 8 inches of mulch before I reached the foundation. This has left me with something similar to a small moat surrounding the front of my house. I have a bunch of plants in this area so simply removing the mulch isn't so simple.
With that background info provided, does anyone know of a way I can easily fix this problem so that I don't have pools of water forming in my "moat" around the front of my house? I'm afraid the only choice I have is to dig up the whole area of mulch and soil to make sure that it is sloping downward away from the house.
I think if you go into the many websites that speak of mulch and what good it does, it will explain its advanatages but also, how best to apply it to gardens.
Eight inches is too much. Generally anything between 2 and 4 inches is plenty.
Mulch should be applied when it can benefit the soil.
You haven't said where you are so if, by chance, you experience a winter---with snow, rain, sleet, and everything else that goes with it, the amount of moisture can build up and it doesn't dry up---even well into summer.
Mulch should be pulled away from trees, plants, and buildings, where they invite insects and disease to gain entry.
Mulch, when placed in contact with young stems, can cause them problems.
The soil under the mulch, should be allowed to dry during those times when increased amounts of spring melt and rain, can cause too much moisture. The mulch can be pulled away, then re-applied later in spring when it can do its job---prevent weeds, and retain moisture the plants can use.
Wood mulch is constantly breaking down. Nitrogen, in the soil, is used to effect such breakdown and it is a good idea to add nitrogen to gardens to make up for such loss.
Compost piles use nitrogen in this way to break down the contents. By adding material that has nitrogen in it (such as grass clippings) can help compost break down its additions.
It does the same thing in the garden.
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