Mulch is a great way to give your garden an instant boost of color, texture, and nutrients. Not only does it make your garden look beautiful, but it also helps keep moisture around plants while providing important organic matter to help them thrive.
Knowing how to store mulch correctly ensures that you get the most out of every bag of mulch–and keeps your wallet happy in the process too! In this blog post, we’ll cover all you need to know about storing mulch so that it stays fresh and usable for as long as possible.
Can You Save Unused Mulch for Next Year?
Yes, you can save unused mulch for the following season. However, it is important to store it properly in order to retain its quality and prevent it from becoming contaminated.
When storing mulch, make sure that it is kept in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. It should also be kept away from any sources of heat or moisture. If you have an outdoor shed, that can be an ideal place to store mulch. You should also consider putting the mulch in a sealed container or plastic bag to prevent it from becoming wet or moldy.
Once stored properly, your mulch should last for up to two years before needing to be replaced. If you’re not sure of the quality, it is best to check it periodically throughout the year and replace it as needed. This will ensure that your mulch remains in top condition so that you can enjoy a healthy garden for years to come.
Finally, keep in mind that mulch needs time to “cure” when you first purchase it. This means that, even if you saved the mulch from a previous year, it should still be given time to settle and “age” before being used in your garden beds. Doing this will ensure that the mulch is of the highest quality and ready to protect your plants from extreme temperatures, weeds, and pests.
By taking the proper steps to store your mulch and allowing it time to cure, you can save a significant amount of money while also keeping your garden healthy and beautiful. So, don’t be afraid to save unused mulch for next year! With the right care and maintenance, you can enjoy quality mulch for many seasons to come.
9 Effective Ways on How to Store Mulch
1. Keep It Dry
One of the most important things to do when storing mulch is to keep it dry. If mulch gets too wet, it can start to decompose and release harmful chemicals into the air. To keep mulch dry, store it in a covered container or in an area that is not prone to flooding.
If you are storing mulch outdoors, put a tarp or plastic sheet over the top to protect it from rain and moisture. To ensure the mulch stays dry, check it periodically for moisture. However, if you are storing mulch indoors, make sure to keep it in an airtight container or bag.
2. Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Another important thing to consider when storing mulch is to avoid extreme temperatures. If mulch gets too hot, it can start to break down and release harmful chemicals into the air. Similarly, if mulch gets too cold, it can become brittle and difficult to work with.
For best results, store mulch in an area that has moderate temperatures.If possible, keep mulch away from direct sunlight to prevent it from heating up too much. Additionally, make sure that the area you store your mulch in is well-ventilated to ensure that it does not become too damp. By following these simple steps, you can keep your mulch stored safely and in good condition.
3. Use a Breathable Container
When storing mulch, be sure to use a breathable container such as a mesh bag or a perforated plastic bag. This will allow air to circulate around the mulch and prevent it from becoming too compacted.
If you are using a plastic bag, open it every few weeks and fluff up the mulch inside. This will help to keep it from becoming too dense. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that the mulch is completely dry before storing it. If you have wet mulch, spread it out in a thin layer and allow it to dry before putting it into storage.
4. Store in Small Batches
It is best to store mulch in small batches so that you can use it as needed. This will also prevent the mulch from getting too old and losing its nutrients. If you need to store a large amount of mulch, be sure to use multiple containers so that you can rotate them out as needed.
Be sure to label each container with the date it was filled. This will help you track which mulch is freshest and should be used first. Additionally, store mulch in a cool, dry place that is away from direct sunlight. This will help protect the nutrients and keep the mulch fresh for longer.
5. Use It Within a Year
Mulch generally has a shelf life of one year, so be sure to use it within that time frame for the best results. After one year, mulch can start to lose its nutrients and become less effective at protecting plants.
When storing mulch, try to keep it in an area that is cool and dry. Avoid areas with direct sunlight or any moisture, like rain or snow. If you find that your mulch has been stored for longer than a year, discard the used mulch and purchase fresh mulch if needed.
6. Keep Away from Animals
When storing mulch, be sure to keep it away from animals such as rodents and insects. These animals can damage the mulch and contaminate it with their waste products. To keep animals away, store the mulch in a sealed container or in an area where animals cannot access it.
If the mulch is stored outdoors, be sure to cover it with a tarp or other protective material. Additionally, be sure to check for signs of animal activity around the mulch when you check up on it. If you find any, take measures to keep animals away from the mulch by using deterrents such as ultrasonic repellents or animal traps.
7. Do Not Inhale the Dust
When handling or working with mulch, do not inhale the dust as it can be harmful to your health. If you must work with dusty mulch, wear a dust mask or respirator to protect your lungs. Additionally, be sure to keep your mulch away from any open flame, as it can easily catch fire.
To protect yourself and your family, always keep flammable materials such as mulch away from heat sources. While mulch is a great choice for your garden and can save you time and money, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to ensure that you and your family stay safe when using it.
8. Store in a Cool, Dark Place
Mulch should be stored in a cool, dark place such as a basement or garage. This will help to preserve the nutrients in the mulch and prevent it from breaking down prematurely. Avoid storing it outdoors, where it is exposed to direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
If you must store it outside, cover the pile with a tarp or plastic sheeting to protect it from the elements. Additionally, make sure to keep mulch away from any sources of heat or flames, as this could cause the mulch to catch fire.
Finally, avoid storing large quantities of mulch in one spot, as this can lead to moisture buildup and mold growth. Keep the area clean and dry to prevent any unwanted pests from making a home in your mulch pile.
9. Inspect Regularly
Finally, it is important to inspect the mulch on a regular basis for signs of mold or mildew. If you notice any discoloration or an unusual smell, discard the mulch immediately. Additionally, if the mulch feels damp or sticky when you touch it, then this could be an indication that moisture is trapped within.
If this is the case, spread out the mulch to allow it to dry naturally. If possible, move some of the mulch that is stored in plastic bags to a drier environment. This will help the mulch remain in good condition for longer. Additionally, try to keep mulch away from direct sunlight as this can cause it to break down faster.
It’s important to store mulch properly in order to preserve its color, moisture, and weed control capabilities. Different types of mulch require different storage requirements depending on the amount of sun, water, or nutrient levels they need.
Don’t forget to periodically inspect and turn your stored mulch occasionally to ensure uniformity once it’s time for application. Proper storage can help you extend the life of your mulch as well as prevent any unnecessary waste from occurring when used correctly.
Now that you have been armed with some helpful advice on how to store mulch, take action and make sure your supply stays in prime condition for the duration of its lifespan!