How to Landscape Without Mulch


Landscaping with mulch cuts down on weeding, conserves moisture and insulates plants against cool temperatures. If you prefer not to use mulch, consider alternative solutions for cultivating healthy plants and trees. Learning to successfully landscape without mulch can take time, but a few steps will help you get started by reducing maintenance and preserving nutrients in the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Dry grass clippings
  • Brick, stone or paver edging
  • Companion plants
  • Ground cover clippings or seedlings
  • Identify which areas of your yard are overrun with weeds and pull them out by the roots. Weeds take nutrients from plants and trees. Block further weeds by spreading a thin layer of dry grass clippings over plant beds and around trees. Use your hands to fluff the clippings weekly so they don't block moisture from reaching plant roots.

  • Use stone, brick, or timber edging around gardens to block weeds and encroaching grass. Provide a clear division between the lawn and plants.

  • Plant companion plants to repel pests and improve growing conditions. For example, garlic improves the yield and flavor of beets, while beets add minerals to the soil that aids lettuce and onions. Geraniums protect roses, tomatoes, corn, peppers and cabbage by deterring Japanese beetles and cabbage worms. Sweet marjoram is one of several companion plants that improve the taste of herbs and vegetables. Peas add nitrogen to the soil and improve the yield for many vegetables including turnips, sweet peppers and spinach, according to the website Golden Harvest Organics.

  • Plant ground cover clippings or seedlings in terraces and other hard-to-reach areas to reduce maintenance and add greenery. Once root systems develop, thick patches of ground cover will prevent erosion and lock in moisture. Verbena has purple hues and is an example of a fast-growing ground cover, while creeping juniper stays green year-round.

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