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Frequently Asked Questions

This section provides answers to many of your product and application questions.


Why should I use mulch?
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Controls erosion
  • Retains soil moisture
  • Moderates soil temperature
  • Safe and non-toxic
  • Retards weeds
  • Provides a buffer from mowers and string trimmers
  • Creates a natural forest like environment
  • Encourages bacteria, microbes, and organisms that break mulch into humus
  • Leads to porous, loosely textured, aerobic soils
  • Improves plant health

Will mulch cause termites?
Mulch does not cause termites, but if termites are already present in an adjacent structure, it can give the insects a chance to tunnel in the mulch. The best way to prevent termites is to make sure that water drains away from the foundation and to have annual treatment by an exterminator. A proper chemical barrier will stop termites from entering the home.

Which mulch is best?
This mainly depends on the area where the mulch is to be applied and the type of plants to be mulched. Areas that are wet and poorly drained should use coarser or loose mulch such as pine nuggets, mini chips or colored mulch that will allow air movement. Dry, sandy areas should use the finer ground mulches such as triple-shredded pine and shredded hardwood bark because these mulches will retain moisture. Areas that have steep slopes or are wash areas should use shredded mulch.

How much mulch do I need?
Mulch should be applied 3 to 4 inches deep. For best results, re-apply once or twice per year.


How many cubic yards of mix do I need?
  • 1 cubic yard will pot approximately 200 one-gallon pots
  • 1 cubic yard will pot approximately 100 two-gallon pots
  • 1 cubic yard will pot approximately 67 three-gallon pots
  • 1 cubic yard will cover 81 square feet 4 inches deep
  • 1 cubic yard will cover 108 square feet 3 inches deep
  • 1 cubic yard will cover 162 square feet 2 inches deep
  • 1 cubic yard will cover 324 square feet 1 inch deep


How much compost do I need?

  • Trees and Shrubs
    Backfill plantings within a 50:50 mix of compost and native soil. Mulch a 2 to 3 inch layer of compost around plants extending 6 inches beyond the drip line. Avoid “volcano mulching.” Don’t mound compost or mulch directly around stems or tree trunks because this invites insects and disease. Instead, leave the base of the plant free of mulch by tapering down mulch when you get to within 1 inch of the trunk.
  • Flowers and Vegetable Gardens
    Work 2 to 3 inches of compost into the top 6 inches of soil before planting.
  • Containers and Raised Beds
    Add transplants to containers and beds filled with a 30 percent blend of compost and potting soil.
  • Mulch
    Spreading a 2 to 3 inch layer around plants will prevent erosion, act as a weed barrier, and conserve water.
  • Turf Grass Establishment
    Work 2 to 3 inches of compost into the top 6 inches of soil prior to sod placement or seeding.
  • Turf Grass Topdressing
    Apply 1/8″ layer of compost (1/2″ for cool season grass, including tall fescue and rye) followed by aeration.
  • Foundations
    Replace compacted and contaminated fill along building foundations with a blend of compost, sand, and topsoil.


Why choose Parker Bark for my playground surface?

Parker’s PlayCushion® is independently tested and certified by IPEMA for use as a playground safety surface. Our 100% cypress material is clean, eco-friendly and keeps your grounds looking great longer than other natural materials. PlayCushion® delivers these benefits:
  • helps safeguard children against injury and is head impact safety certified
  • minimizes displacement due to use and weather
  • repels moisture and aids drainage

How do I apply Parker’s PlayCushion® to adhere to the best safety practice standards?

pdfTo download installation instructions for Parker’s certified playground safety materials, click here.