Your Complete Guide To Mulch

Black Forrest Mulch in steep sloped garden with rock
Black Forrest Mulch in steep sloped garden with rock

Your Complete Guide To Mulch

What is mulch?

Mulch is a protective barrier. Anything that covers the soil and protects it could be determined as mulch.


Different types:

There is a few variants of mulches and are often grouped into the following


Organic Material:
  • Grass clippings
  • Wood chips
  • Sawdust
  • Straw
  • Shredded Bark
  • Compost
  • Shell


Non-bio-degradable materials:
  • Plastic/fabric weed mat
  • Pebbles
  • River Rock
  • Newspaper/Cardboard


Why use a mulch?


Prevents Soil Erosion
  • It keeps existing water trapped in the soil.
  • It keeps  rain water  from washing away your soil.
  • It does this by breaking the fall of the water and therefore lessening the force when the water impacts the ground.


Maintains Soil Nutrients
  • When using organic mulch, it will release nutrients into the soil.
  • This happens as the organic material slowly decomposes on top of the soil.


Controls Weeds
  • Acts as a barrier
  • Weed seeds will germinate beneath  mulch,  but will be unable to reach sunlight to grow.


Retains Moisture
  • Absorbs water
  • Covers the soil and limits evaporation.
  • Retaining moisture, especially during hot, dry seasons.
  • Saves you money on water bill


Keeps the soil loose
  • The organic matter in mulch stops the soil packing down and creates many tiny spaces for air and water and habitat for tiny soil organisms.
  • This makes it easier for plants to get food from the soil and reduces the need for regular cultivation.


Looks Nice & Tidy
  • Gives your garden a finished look by filling in the empty spaces while being one of the easiest  fillers  to maintain.
  • Mulch is easy to care for and never competes with your other plants.


Encourages Earthworms to Move In
  • Using organic material for mulching can encourage earthworms to occupy your garden soil.
  • Earthworms help improve soil structure and nutrient cycling.
  • Earthworms burrow through your soil, digesting organic materials, creating tunnels for air and water to percolate  through,  and distribute their castings as rich ready fertiliser for your plants.


Raises soil temperature
  • Dark coloured mulch will raise soil temperatures in Spring to enhance growth.



When to mulch your garden?

  • It is never too late to put mulch on the garden. If the ground is dry, remember to water first before putting the mulch down
  • The ideal time to apply organic mulch to the soil is in spring and in autumn.
  • If you live in an area that suffers from severe winter conditions, you may want to mulch in autumn to protect your plants from damaging winds or frost.
  • Re-apply it throughout the year if it starts to become too thin to keep the soil moist.



Where to apply mulch?

  • Put mulch around any plants that will suffer during dry weather. Established shrubs may only seem to suffer during exceptionally dry years but they need regular mulching too
  • Yearly mulching will mean they suffer less stress from competition for water and food because there will be fewer weeds and water will remain in the soil for longer.



How to mulch your garden?

  • Spread mulch around plants taking care not to heap it up close to the stems. You don’t want to trap moisture against the stem of plants and cause them to rot.
  • Make the mulch at least 10 cm deep, pile it higher if you can because it settles over the growing season. 20cm is always better than 10 cm if you want your mulch to be really effective.

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Our Truck Volumes

3T Truck

Full truck load volumes
  • Bark: 7m³
  • Compost: 4m³
  • Supersoil: 3m³
  • Soil: 3m³
  • Shell: 3m³
  • Stone: 1.5m³

7.5T Truck

Full truck load volumes
  • Bark: 20m³
  • Compost: 10m³
  • Supersoil: 7m³
  • Shell: 8m³

11T Truck

Full truck load + trailer volumes
  • Bark: 25m³ - 65m³
  • Compost: 17m³ - 38m³
  • Supersoil: 12m³ - 29m³
  • Shell: 12m³ - 30m³

In Canterbury or other regions? We offer bulk truck and trailer load volumes throughout the South Island.

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Below is a list of our retailers. Please contact them for stock and supply.

PLEASE NOTE: Not all of our products are supplied to all retailers. We can only guarantee product quality of products we manufacture.

  • Wholesale Landscapes – Stoke Yard (that's us!)
  • Stoke Garden & Landscapes
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  • Woodend Landscape Supplies
  • Amberley Hire & Landscape Supplies
  • Hanmer Landscape Supplies
  • Garden Box – Middleton
  • Urban Paving & Landscape Supplies – Harewood
  • Pearsons Landscape Supplies – Bromley
  • Styx Mill Landscape & Nursery  – Styx
  • Mitre 10 Mega Ferrymead
  • Odering Garden Centre Christchurch - Philpotts
  • Odering Garden Centre Christchurch - Barrington
  • Mainscape Garden Supplies
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  • Fulton Hogan Timaru
  • Ashburton Contracting Ltd (ACL)
  • Centaland
  • CMT Group
  • Kaikōura Landscape Supplies

Pick-Up Information

We welcome pick-up of product by the public for volumes 1m³ and over. Please check your estimated trailer weight rating below. If your trailer is unable to hold the weight of our minimum pick-up volume, please book a delivery. *We require a minimum order quantity of 3m³ for any bark, compost, soil or shell products and a minimum order quantity of 1.5m3 for any stones or aggregates.

Standard trailer
(750kg limit)
  • Bark / Mulches
  • Shell
  • Compost
  • Soil
  • Stones / Aggregates
Tandem trailer
(1,500kg limit)
  • Bark / Mulches
  • Shell
  • Compost
  • Soil
  • Stones / Aggregates
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(2,000kg limit)
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  • Shell
  • Compost
  • Soil
  • Stones / Aggregates

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*We will quote to the nearest cubic meter.

Recommended depths

Typically you need a finishing layer of screened soil of 100mm when working with an uneven surface. 100mm of soil will allow to even out any hollows and give enough depth to create a flat surface

A general rule for compost is to allow for the depth of the current root structure of your plants with an additional 30-50% to mix in with the base. If you’re planting into holes or filling up a vege garden  you will need to accommodate for this prior to filling up

We recommend 100mm (10cm) deep for new bark gardens and planting into bare areas. For existing gardens with some cover, we recommend 75mm-100mm (7.5cm-10cm)

Note: Barked areas for playground impact protection need to meet NZS5828:2015 standards and is calculated on the fall areas and the height of the playground. Please contact us to discuss your barked playground areas

For paths and driveways which are often exposed to car and foot traffic, we recommend 100mm-125mm (10cm-12.5cm) on newly prepared areas due to settling of product.

This excludes preparation, compaction or drainage gravel underneath. For existing areas 75mm thickness is recommended for areas needing a small top-up.