Front Yard Makeover — Native Plant Edition: Moving Mountains of Mulch

I’ve been working on a implementing a redesign for our front yard to replace our turfgrass with Willamette Valley, Oregon native plants. This will seriously up my square footage for my Backyard Habitat Re-Certification coming up. 😁 This is the third article in the series. Here are articles one (retaining wall construction) and two (digging and sheet mulching).

Mess making in full view of the neighborhood is a stressful undertaking. I took our lawn and turned it into a dirt pit. This is generally when the questions roll in, resonating with my persistent doubts. But today, I got to make things pretty again. Best Buy in Town Landscape Supply rolled in at 7am with two yards of bark nuggets and a yard and a half of small river rock and dumped it on our driveway. Thanks BBITLS!

That first shovelful of those fragrant bark nuggets felt amazing as I launched them on to my mess. I had the whole two yards moved in short order. Next came the rock. My husband had just finished up a project and asked if I wanted help. Yes, please!🤩 I tossed him a shovel and we scooped rock into the swale/rain garden and into the river bed. This work went much slower, but felt great.

Why did you choose bark nuggets?

A few reasons:

  1. Our native plants thrive in our native pH (about 5.5) and conifer bark is slightly acidic will help promote this shift.
  2. The large nuggets will take several years to fully break down, whereas a finer bark dust is often gone in a year.
  3. The deep red-brown is really pretty.

How did you know how much to order?

I used my scale design to get a rough idea of the area I needed to cover. Then I used their BBITLS Yard Calculator and rounded up. I did the same for the rock estimate.

Mulch is such an important part of landscape maintenance for so many reasons, weed suppression, moisture retention, adds organic matter, soil protection, and more, but it can be confusing to know what kind of mulch to use where and what kind to avoid. I use about twelve different kinds of mulch on our property. Check out my article Mulch — An Easy Guide to Find Out Which Mulch is Right for Your Plants


Front Yard Native Plant Makeover Article Series

  1. Retaining Wall Complete 
  2. Digging for Me, Lots of Rain Garden Resources for You
  3. Moving Mountains of Mulch 
  4. Nine Steps to Planting A Tree (Vine Maple)
  5. How to Plant Perennials so They Can Thrive

2 responses to “Front Yard Makeover — Native Plant Edition: Moving Mountains of Mulch”

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