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Easy DIY Mulch Landscaping Ideas

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Check out these easy DIY mulch landscaping ideas and tips to update and beautify your yard this spring and summer.

Pinterest graphic with text that reads "Simple Mulch Landscaping Ideas" and a collage of mulch landscaping.

When we built our home several years ago, we were left with a blank canvas (of dirt and rocks) for our backyard landscaping.

After shelling out a large chunk of change for the down payment and other new home expenses, we didn’t want to spend too much money to transform the outdoor space.

An unfinished backyard with a dirt hill and landscaping materials.

Because of that, we ended up using mulch for large areas of the yard and we’ve loved the results.

With that in mind, we wanted to share some beginner-friendly DIY mulch landscaping ideas to help you transform your own yard this spring and summer.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or need to update an existing lawn or garden feature, these inspiration photos, tips, and tricks will make the process a breeze.

From mulch-infused raised flower beds and fire pits to walkways and seating areas, there’s something for everyone on this list!

Reasons to Use Mulch Landscaping

From affordability and aesthetics to plant health and weed prevention, there are several benefits to using mulch in your landscaping.

It’s an inexpensive way to beautify gardens and flower beds with contrasting colors to make pops of color appear even more vibrant.

It also helps to retain moisture so your plants can get the nutrients they need.

Mulch also:

  • Helps to regulate the root temperature of plants
  • Prevents soil erosion
  • Protects plant and tree roots from damage

One of the main reasons we used mulch in our backyard transformation was the price compared to sod and other ground cover materials.

We have a large corner lot, so there was a lot of space to cover.

We got creative with the landscaping to minimize the need for grass which requires expensive irrigation in favor of low-maintenance materials like mulch, gravel, and stone.

Below, are some images showing the results of our hard work. You can see the full transformation in this post on easy backyard ideas on a budget.

Mulch Landscaping Ideas

Here are some other beautiful and creative mulch landscaping ideas to help you create an outdoor oasis that will be the envy of your neighborhood.

  • Consider a raised bed garden with a dry stack retaining wall, accented with mulch.
  • Create a mulch “island” with flowers, trees, and shrubs.
  • Pair bright and light plants with dark mulch for major contrast.
  • Fill in the base of your trees with mulch for curb appeal and protection.
  • Add a burst of color to your landscaping with red mulch.
  • Use two different colors of mulch to create a garden path.
  • Accent hedge boarders with a secondary mulch boarder.
  • Use mulch and stone to create a spiral herb garden.
  • Combine mulch, stone, and gravel to create a seating area.

Mulch Landscaping Tips and Tricks

Best Ground Barriers

Before laying down your mulch, consider installing additional ground cover for added weed protection. This is especially helpful for large areas of landscaping without plants.

You can purchase landscaping fabric from the lawn and garden section of most supermarkets, from home improvement stores, and online.

You can also use cardboard for a more cost and environmentally friendly option.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using cardboard for your mulch landscaping.

Easy Trick for Laying Out Curved Yard Designs

A curvy mulch landscape design in a grassy yard with trees and shrubs.

When planning large landscape designs with curves like the “mulch island” above, use a garden hose to map out the shape you want for your mulch bed.

Once you’ve created your ideal shape, you can use spray paint to trace the design.

Then, you can remove grass if necessary and edge out your design with a barrier like stone or bricks if desired.

Want More?

Looking for more outdoor home improvement projects? Try these!

Your Turn

What did you think of these mulch landscaping ideas? Are there any you think we should add? Let us know in the comments!