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.