• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to mulch plant beds.


    1 Rake dead leaves and old mulch from between shrubs and plants to expose the soil.
    2 Pick up old mulch and leaves with a mulch fork and dump into wheelbarrow; discard debris in compost pile.
    3 Cut back the grass along the front of the planting bed with a half-round edger.
    4 Remove the grass cut from the edge with a square-edge shovel; discard debris in compost pile.
    5 Dump new mulch into planting bed, and spread with garden rake to 1 inch deep.
    6 Push mulch under shrubs with rake, but keep it away from branches and trunks.
    7 Use rake to compact the mulch along the edge of the bed.
    • Difficulty: Moderate to hard
      depending on the size and condition of the planting bed
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

        Garden rake, for spreading mulch
      • mulch fork
        Mulch fork,
        for removing old mulch and leaves
      • wheelbarrow
      • edger
        Half-round edger,
        for cutting clean edge along planting bed
      • square shovel
        Square-edge shovel

      Shopping List

      1. Mulch