Mulch is an inexpensive way to spruce up your garden

LEWISTON, ID - Mulch plays a major role in landscaping. From providing essential moisture and nutrients to fighting off weeds and pests, mulch is an inexpensive yet efficient way to spruce up your flower beds, walkways and gardens.

"When buying mulch you can buy it by the bag or in bulk and it's usually about $20 to $30 per yard," said Angie's List owner Angie Hicks. "If you are buying in bulk keep in mind you're also going to have a delivery fee; consider joining forces with your neighbors and having a large order delivered that you can share."

The biggest mistake you can make when spreading mulch is piling it high around the base of a tree. Excessive mulch can saturate the tree roots with water which can cause rot and fungus problems, and block oxygen from reaching the roots.

"In order to find out how much mulch you need it's just a simple math equation," said landscaper Greg Pulley. "The length times the width will find the area and then what you want to do is divide by 100. We apply our mulch at 3 inches which is the proper depth and one yard of mulch will cover 100 square feet 3 inches deep."

Some dyed mulches like red or black can be used to add contrast, or make flowers and plants stand out in a landscape.

"Every month or two a homeowner typically can fluff up the mulch a little bit just to turn it over and re-release some more color so dyed mulch usually holds a little bit longer then a hardwood mulch or cypress or any other type of mulch," said Pulley.

As for the cost, prices vary depending on the company and geographic location. Expect to pay anywhere from $20-$50 per yard, depending on the quality of the mulch.