I am in the process of landscaping my front yard and as such have added a few trees, and want to put in some more. I had read that mulching the trees is a good idea to preserve water, prevent weeds, and protect the trees from lawn mowers and other garden equipment. I had rescued some discarded carpeting that is a berber/white weave and decided to make a few mulch mats with this. Follow along:
Step 1: Make Cardboard Template
First, make a template out of cardboard. I made 24 and 36 inch circles and any size can be made. Cut out the circle with a utility knife, or as I do, use a band saw. Speeds things up and saves wear on the arms and hands!
Step 2: Use Template to Mark Carpet
Use this template to mark the carpet with a magic marker. Also mark the center hole as this needs to be cut as well.
Step 3: Use Sharp Knife to Cut Out Circle
I actually used a box cutter knife. If very sharp (new blade) it cuts right through the back of the carpet, and any fibers hanging loose can be snipped off with scissors.
Step 4: Cut Out Center for Tree to Fit In
Cut as shown in photo. I cut the line to the center in a jagged shape so that it would look more natural.
Step 5: Color Mulch Ring If Desired
I had this green paint on hand so decided to use it. I would have preferred brown, but none was available. I bought a whole box of these paints at a garage sale-got the entire box for $1.00! So I have spent very little on my mat project.
Step 6: Completed Mulch Ring/Mat
Completed Mulch Mat or ring ready to be placed around tree.
Step 7: Place Ring in Place
I trimmed all the grass and weeds from around the tree, then placed the mat in position. It will settle in in time, and do all the things mentioned in the introduction. I looked on line for commercial products, and saw that you could spend anywhere from a few dollars up to $50. or more! I have used carpeting as ground cover in my raised bed paths, and they have lasted 10 years or more...so much for the longevity question! Total amount spent: actually, nothing! I love solving issues the frugal way, and why not? Now I have some extra money to spend on art supplies, plants, pots, etc. Happy gardening!