The Effects of Mulching:

     Mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of an area of soil. Its purpose is any or all of the following:

  • to conserve moisture

  • to improve the fertility and health of the soil

  • to reduce weed growth

  • to enhance the visual appeal of the area

Mulch is usually but not exclusively organic in nature. It may be permanent or temporary. It may be applied to bare soil, or around existing plants. Mulches of manure or compost will be incorporated naturally into the soil by the activity of worms and other organisms. The process is used both in commercial crop production and in gardening, and when applied correctly can dramatically improve soil productivity.

    The best way to nourish and protect plants and trees is to add mulch appropriately.  This aspect is vital to the sustainability of your softscape assets.

      Mulch provides insulation and protects it from extreme temperatures.  Mulch is the air-conditioning and the heater for your tree.  Mulch also holds water, enabling the roots to stay moist and healthy.  It also helps prevent weeds from growing and it keeps the soil around your tree from getting compacted.

    Many materials are used as mulches, which are used to retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, suppress weed growth, and for aesthetics.] They are applied to the soil surface,around trees, paths, flower beds, to prevent soil erosion on slopes, and in production areas for flower and vegetable crops. Mulch layers are normally two inches or more deep when applied.

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    They are applied at various times of the year depending on the purpose. Towards the beginning of the growing season mulches serve initially to warm the soil by helping it retain heat which is lost during the night. This allows early seeding and transplanting of certain crops, and encourages faster growth. As the season progresses, mulch stabilizes the soil temperature and moisture, and prevents the growing of weeds from seeds. In temperate climates, the effect of mulch is dependent upon the time of year they are applied and when applied in fall and winter, are used to delay the growth of perennial plants in the spring or prevent growth in winter during warm spells, which limits freeze thaw damage.

    The effect of mulch on soil moisture content is complex. Mulch forms a layer between the soil and the atmosphere which prevents sunlight from reaching the soil surface, thus reducing evaporation. However, mulch can also prevent water from reaching the soil by absorbing or blocking water from light rains.

    In order to maximize the benefits of mulch, while minimizing its negative influences, it is often applied in late spring/early summer when soil temperatures have risen sufficiently, but soil moisture content is still relatively high.

    Plastic mulch used in large-scale commercial production is laid down with a tractor-drawn or standalone layer of plastic mulch. This is usually part of a sophisticated mechanical process, where raised beds are formed, plastic is rolled out on top, and seedlings are transplanted through it. Drip irrigation is often required, with drip tape laid under the plastic, as plastic mulch is impermeable to water.

Source: Wikipedia

 How To Add Mulch Around Your Tree:

    Remove any grass within three to ten feet around your tree.  Surface area is larger when planting a bigger tree.  Next, pour Saunders Landscape Supply mulch a couple of inches deep around the area you cleaned.  Remember to keep the mulch from touching the trunk of the tree though.

*Source: Arbor Day Foundation

    Saunders Landscape Supply offers mulch delivery in Northern Virginia and Maryland. We maintain a broad selection of mulch to fit most applications.

   We offer hardwood or cedar mulch, leaf mulch, colored mulch, wood chips and playground mulch. All of these varieties are for sale and immediate delivery in MD & VA.

    Order online or by phone for mulch delivered right to your driveway in Maryland & Northern Virginia! Click here for answers to Ordering Questions or Contact Us.

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Mulch Product Details:

Double Shredded Hardwood Mulch:

   The most popular of all decorative mulches. Various shades of brown in color, it retains moisture in the soil and suppresses weed growth. 5 cubic yard minimum order for delivery.

   This product is made from the bark and wood of local trees and shredded twice. The grinders demolish the wood and make the end product into the fine ground up mulch that our customers have loved for 21 years. It is aged an average of 6 months, and provides optimal moisture retention and weed control.


  • Double Shredded Commercial Grade Hardwood.  Dark brown color is very popular

  • Suppresses weeds and prevents weed germination when applied deep enough.

  • Hardwood Mulch prevents water loss from around plants.

  • Double shredded to create a uniform product and help mulch stay in place after installation.

  • Hardwood Mulch breaks down to add nutrients to the soil.

Color Enhanced Mulch – Red:

    This product holds color longer than regular double shredded mulch and does not fade.

    Our high-quality color-enhanced mulch is made from local hardwood materials and biodegradable, environmentally-friendly dyes that provide all the benefits of regular wood mulch, including soil enhancement over time, temperature and moisture control, and weed suppression.

    Color-enhanced mulches come in a variety of colors, including blonde mulch, shades of deep red mulch, brown mulch and black mulch.  In addition, colored mulch is designed to hold its color for an entire season. In contrast, natural wood mulch is likely to fade to gray within the first one to three months of exposure to the elements.

Color Enhanced Mulch – Brown

    This product holds color longer than regular double shredded mulch and does not fade.Our high-quality color-enhanced mulch is made from local hardwood materials and biodegradable, environmentally-friendly dyes that provide all the benefits of regular wood mulch, including soil enhancement over time, temperature and moisture control, and weed suppression.

Color Enhanced Mulch – Black

This product holds color longer than regular double shredded mulch and does not fade.

Leaf Mulch:

Leaf Mulch is a marvelous alternative to wood mulch – it holds color, it’s an earthworm attractant and as it decomposes it benefits the soil. Serves as beautiful mulch alternative, and also as a natural soil amendment. Leaf mulch is not available in Maryland.  This product is made from fallen leaves of local trees, shredded and then composted. The leaves are shaken & stirred over several months to make the end product a nutritious mulch that our customers have loved for 21 years. Fallen leaves carry 50 to 80 percent of the nutrients a tree extracts from the soil and air, including carbon, potassium, and phosphorus.  Leaf Mulch not only recycles a natural resource, but it gives you richer soil in the end.


  • Improves soil quality and weed control as it decomposes.

  • holds down weed growth when applied deep enough

  • adds organic matter to the soil

  • Protects garden soil from compaction caused by rainfall.

Playground Carpet Mulch:

Finely- shredded wood chips clean and light in color. Playground mulch offers a great way to protect children from harm when using slides, swing sets and any other playground equipment.

Playground Wood Chips:

Decomposes slowly and may be used on tot lot, pathways, and wooded areas.

Cedar Mulch:

Cedar mulch provides two distinct advantages over double shredded hardwood mulch. First, it acts as an insect repellent because of its aroma. Second, it is a more resilient wood and decomposes less rapidly.  *Not available in Maryland

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Mulching Q&A:

What areas do you deliver to?

Saunders delivers bulk materials to residents and businesses located in Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Fauquier, Montgomery, Howard, Anne Arundel, Queen Anne’s, and Prince George’s Counties.

Is there a delivery fee?

No. Saunders delivers to your driveway free of charge. An exception would be for any deliveries made in rural areas which require additional time and fuel.

Do I need to be home when delivery is made?

No. Most deliveries made by Saunders are to clients that are not home. In this case it is requested that a check for payment be placed on the front door.

Where do you drop the product?

Our insurance company allows us to do driveway deliveries, and driveway deliveries only!!!!

What form of payment do you accept?

Personal checks, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express and Discover

When is payment due?

Payment is due at the time of delivery.

What time will you be there?

Saunders commits to the day of delivery, but not a time or time frame. There are many variables which make up the routing schedule, including but not limited to the location, product type, and traffic. Rather than attempt to make a commitment that Saunders is unable to keep, Saunders commits only to the delivery date. However, our drivers will give you a courtesy call 30 minutes in advance.

How fast does Saunders deliver?

Deliveries can generally be made the same day or next day. An exception to this may be during the Spring or for deliveries made on Fridays. You may wish to place your order several days in advance for these time frames.

What does mulch look like?

Please see the photo section for pictures of the various products offered for delivery.

How much do I need?

You will need one cubic yard for every 108 square feet to be covered. There are 27 cubic feet in one cubic yard ( 3 feet tall, 3 feet wide, and 3 feet deep). Please use our handy calculator which may be found on each and every page on this website.

    If you have any additional questions, please feel free to call Saunders Landscaping Supply at (301) 461-5687 or (703) 764-4831.

    Mulch is pound for pound the most beneficial, yet overlooked aspect of any softscape landscaping job.

    It provides your plants and trees with more protection than any other material.  Mulching protects tree roots, virtually can eliminate weeds from robbing your trees of nutrients and water and it also enriches the surrounding soil.

   Free delivery of landscaping materials is the foundation for Saunders Landscape Supply.

   By providing the do-it-yourself property owner with materials in which they may not be able to transport themselves, Saunders has planted their own stable tree in the landscaping industry.  When you hear the word “mulching”, immediately think of Saunders Landscaping Supply.

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