A border of well-mulched soil can give your hedge a formal and finished appearance. As an added benefit, that attractive mulch will also improve the health of the shrubs within the hedge. Mulch conserves soil moisture which minimizes watering needs. It also reduces weed growth and insulates the soil against rapid temperature fluctuations. Natural mulching materials, such as pine straw or wood bark, work best as an ornamental and useful hedge border mulch.
Pull all weeds and grass growing around the hedge prior to mulch. Clean the area covering the entire root zone of the hedge, which usually extends out to the outermost branches of the shrub canopy above.
Dig a 3- to 4-inch deep trench along the outer edge of the hedge to create a border. The trench prevents lawn grass from invading the hedge border while also helping to keep the mulch from blowing out of the bed.
Spread the mulch over the cleared soil in a 2-inch-deep layer. Reduce the depth of the mulch near the edge of the bed so it tapers toward the perimeter, which helps prevent the mulch from spreading beyond the borders of the hedge.
Pull the mulch back from the trunks of the shrubs in the hedge, leaving a 2-inch space between mulch and wood. Mulch that rests against the trunk can cause rot or pest problems.
Replenish the layer of mulch around the hedges once or twice yearly in spring or fall. Frequency of replacement depends on how quickly the mulch decomposes. Add enough new mulch to maintain the 2-inch depth.