Gardeners can use leaf mulch to keep the soil at a more steady temperature, promote soil fertility, prevent weeds, and keep the soil moist. However, one disadvantage of leaf mulch is that it might fly away in windy situations.
Using the resources that your garden provides you can keep leaf mulch from blowing away. In addition, it saves time, effort, and money to repurpose something from your garden for entirely another purpose. There are various ways to prevent mulch from blowing away when the prevailing wind blows.
In our guide, you can learn about how to keep wood chips from blowing away after you have made minor adjustments or planted wind barriers in your garden. By the end, it doesn’t matter if you are using leaf mulch, landscape wood chips, or grass clippings.
You can retain all the benefits, such as stopping weed growth, controlling soil temperature, and soil moisture without much effort.
However, it is hard to find your dream mulch as they all have advantages and disadvantages, but you can know how to have mulch that doesn’t blow away. (Read Why Does Mulch Smell Like Manure)
How Do You Keep Bark Chippings From Blowing Away?
Wood chip mulch adds visual appeal to a landscape while keeping weeds out of your flowers. However, even as heavy as the wood chips are, you may need to stop wood chips from blowing away in the wind.
Use erosion control products to keep landscape wood chips from blowing away in your landscape area.
If you place mulch netting over your layer of wood chips, you will keep the wood chip layer securely on the ground and prevent your wood chips from blowing away in windy situations.
Here are the quick steps to keep wood chips from blowing away.
- Apply 2 to 4 inches of wood chip mulch to your landscape area, and with your rake, spread your wood chips in an even layer.
- Cut your garden netting to fit the garden bed size you are mulching.
- Place mulch netting over the wood chip mulch layer, and ensure the netting covers all the landscape wood chips by overhanging the edges by around 4 inches for full coverage.
- Place bricks along the edge of the garden netting to give your garden bed a clean look and help hold the edge of the netting down.
- Put a stake or large ground staple around 2 or 3 feet along the edge of your netting to hold this garden netting and landscape wood chips in position.
Besides this mulch netting, there are other ways to keep a landscape wood chip layer securely on your garden. (Read Potato Bug Bite Facts)
- Use heavy mulch such as bark mulch or landscaping rock for windy areas.
- Use bricks to edge garden beds.
- Cover light mulch such as straw with compost or bark mulch.
- Plant small shrubs in your mulched areas to cut out the wind.
- Plant edible windbreaks. (climbing beans, or similar).
- Use a solid windbreak such as a brick wall or garden screen.
- After laying mulch, water it right away, so it settles into the soil surface.
How Do You Keep Straw Mulch From Blowing Away?
Here are ways to keep various mulches in position around your landscape area.
Sugar Cane Mulch
- Add a thin layer of bark or mixed tree mulch on the top of the sugar cane mulch to keep it
- Because bark mulch is heavier than grass, it will keep the sugar cane from blowing away in the wind.
- Watering the sugar cane mulch right after spreading it down can help it stay put. Also, adding water to the sugar cane pieces will help them interlock and stay together.
Landscaping Bark Mulch
Because bark mulch and mixed tree mulch are inherently heavier than other mulches, they won’t fly around in your garden.
When it’s windy, a blanket of mixed tree mulch with little and large bits from tree branches and leaves will hold the smaller pieces in place.
Mulch for landscaping is heavier and will remain put in windy locations.
Bale straw will stay place if you lay it down thickly in your garden. The straw will not be broken into smaller pieces and will come apart in biscuits. These can be seen strewn around enormous vegetable gardens to cover crops, behind trees, and around flowers and plants to prevent weeds and retain soil moisture.
You can use a barrier to keep the mulch from blowing away if you live in a windy region. Keep the soil level 1-2 inches below the top of the garden bed in raised garden beds.
This will provide room for the mulch and act as a windbreak when the wind blows around your flower beds.
Straw bales can also provide protection in a flower bed for windy conditions. Place these around your vegetable beds on their sides. These will keep the mulch from drifting about in the bin and protect your vegetable beds from severe winds. (Read Spartan Mower Problems)
You can avoid mulch netting altogether if you plant close together in your garden beds. Planting garden beds densely keep mulch from blowing around in windy conditions as the plants act as a windbreak and make the wind blow over the top.
The mulch only moves a short distance if it does move as plants are blocking its path.
You can also create a windbreak using quick-growing shrubs like Lilly Pilly or lavender that have the added benefit of deterring pests and attracting pollinators.
If you put leaf mulch in an open location, it will move around. Therefore, turning fall leaves into compost is the best method to use them as mulch.
Fall leaves can be collected and placed in a composting bag or bin to be broken down and turned into rich compost. This combination will be heavier and not blow away when placed on top of your garden beds.
Landscaping rock is a dense mulch that will not fly away in high winds. Landscaping rock works nicely as mulch around dry-area plants like succulents or cacti.
Pebbles can hold and reflect an excessive amount of sunlight for many other plants. If you need a mulch that prevents weeds, then landscaping rock isn’t the ideal solution without adding weed control fabric.
Besides this, rock isn’t the best to offer water retention, yet it does offer better drainage after a heavy rain than some other mulch types.
Determine whether landscaping rocks are appropriate for your garden and the plants you want to grow.
Mixing lighter mulches like sugar cane or straw with a heavier mulch is the best approach to stop them moving.
Sugar cane mulch and bark mulch mixed 50:50 provides the benefits of quick sugar cane breakdown while being held down by the bark mulch. This blend is ideal for use beneath fruit trees and big flower beds.
Compost and straw mulch is mixed 50:50 in vegetable gardens to cover crops. The nutrients from the compost will be washed down to the plants when you water the vegetable garden, preventing the straw mulch from blowing away.
Stop mulch from blowing away on a slope
- With the correct type, mulch may be kept in place on hillsides. Plants growing closer together and holding the soil and mulch in place will benefit a sloping site.
- The mulch will only move a little distance between plants in windy spots.
- Mixed tree mulch is a wonderful solution for a sloping plot in a windy area. The various sized sections will knit together, securing it to the slope.
Because chips are heavier than many types of mulch, considerable wood chip mulch is an option against the prevailing wind. Ground pine bark forms a good heavy mulch that is much more difficult to blow away. Plant wind barriers on the side of your garden where the predominant wind blows to help maintain the wind proof mulch.
Fast-growing conifers can significantly reduce the impact of gusts. As an alternative, construct a wind barrier such as a wall or a fence. Another option is to wet down whatever mulch you’re using when windy weather is forecast.
Landscape chips, often known as mulch by most gardeners, are organic debris such as wood, bark chips, or coconut husk chips as they prevents weeds growing and other benefits in the landscape.
Mulches such as landscape wood chips, bark pieces, shredded wood, straw, buckwheat or rice hulls, pine needles, or sawdust can also be used.
If money is tight, layering newspaper over bare soil and covering it with decorative landscape chips provides the same benefits as any other mulch.
Wet It Down
Whether you’re using wood, bark, or coconut husk chips as mulch in the landscape or garden, getting them moist is the easiest method to keep them in place. (Read Best Mulches For Vegetable Gardens)
Spread the chips evenly in a 1- to 3-inch layer over the soil and water thoroughly with a spray nozzle. When high winds are predicted, turn on the sprinklers and soak the chips, so they settle into the soil and are less prone to blow away.
Cover With Netting
Natural jute netting or polypropylene plastic netting can cover organic mulch, whether it’s chips, straw, or other organic matter.
Netting can also keep mulch in place on slopes. Rake the mulch around the plants and over the soil. Before putting the netting, pull the mulch 3 to 6 inches away from the plant stems.
Cut a bit larger than your garden bed size to cover the loose coverings or mulch with netting. Before fastening it with landscape fabric staples, you’ll have to trim around trees, shrubs, and plants.
You can hold netting edges in place using river rocks, bricks, or landscape edging. When severe gusts blow, the netting will keep the chips in place.
The tackifiers come in powder and liquid versions. Protect your eyes, lungs, and hands when spreading tackifier powder. Roll the powder over the chips with a drop spreader. Alternatively, combine it with water and apply it as a wet slurry.
Do not dilute liquid products. Instead, apply the liquid generously over the mulch with a garden or industrial sprayer with a fan tip. Allow it to dry for 24–48 hours before giving children or dogs access. Put on protective clothing like gloves and safety goggles before spraying it on the chips.
Also, add on days there are no strong winds as it can miss the parts you want to hold mulch on the ground. that lag.