This is my first instructable hope that it is a useful and may possibly inspire others out there. The following will explain how to make a mulch border around your garden. The garden border's purpose is to ultimately improve the appearance of the edge of the garden. But it will also make for a nice flower bed, reduce weeds the creep into the garden and allow for easier mowing and weed whacking.
Step 1: Supplies
For this project the following are needed.
Ground Clothe (to prevent weeds) ~ $5-6
Six bags of Mulch ~ $2.75 per bag
Wire Clothes Hanger
Step 2: Preparation
My garden is 25LX10W this gives me a total 70ft perimeter I planned to have the border be about one foot wide. The six bags of mulch was plenty for this job with a little excess. I decided to just cover the existing grass this the ground cloth. But make sure that your grass is trimmed up short, this will make things easier later on.
First I laid out the cloth along the length of the garden with a foot of excess on each end. I then cut the 25ft side first then I continued to cut the shorter 10ft. side.
The cloth is 30 inches wide so made a cut strait down the middle of the cloth so that I had four 15 inch wide strips for the sides.
Step 3: Ground Cloth Instalation
After the cloth is cut to shape and in place the easiest way to keep in in place is to stake it down. The cheapest way I could think to do this was to get an old wire coat hanger and bend the wire into stakes. To do this I used a pair of pliers to bend the wire in to places. (refer to picture) They stakes ended up being about 3 inches tall and the two bends about half and inch each. I used pair of wire cutters to snip to the desired length. I recommend placing a stake about every 4-5ft. front and back. Just to make sure the fabric stays.
I had flowers that I had planted a few weeks ago that were growing around the garden. So I had to make a 3-4 inch slit for each flower to poke through. I would recommend that if you were starting without flowers that you complete the mulch edging and then cut the fabric to plant the flowers last. This will save a lot of time cutting holes to fit the flowers.
Side note - Marigolds are known to help keep insects away from your vegetables. They are the safest form of organic pesticide. This is known as "companion planting". They help to protect against squash bugs, thrips, tomato hornworms, white flys and many more. I have also been told the they help to keep those pesky rabbits at bay.
Step 4: Applying the Mulch
Now all that you have to do is cut open the bags of mulch, pour them on and spread the mulch out evenly around the border. If you want you can do this yourself. But note that it requires work. I personally would contract the work out to a younger sister. It's much easier on your back.
Step 5: Finished Product
This is the final picture below of how my garden turned out. I am very pleased with the border. I had been having problems with weeds and grass creeping in from the yard. I am hoping that this will put an end to that problem. The border also makes for a nice flower bed for around your vegetable garden. I hope that this was helpful and good luck with your summer gardening projects.