Many gardeners select cedar mulch as both a useful and decorative cover for vegetable gardens, flowerbeds and other landscaping areas. When you add cedar mulch to a landscape, the scent of the cedar will help to repel insects. Cedar mulch does not decompose as quickly as other organic mulches. While this means that cedar mulch will not improve soil quality the way other organic mulches will, it also means that cedar mulch is easier to care for and maintain.
Apply cedar mulch over a growing area and spread the mulch with the rake to make it even. If you are using cedar mulch to prevent weeds and conserve soil moisture in a summer garden, apply the mulch in a 2- to 3-inch layer. If you are using cedar mulch to protect plants from winter temperatures, apply the mulch in a 4- to 5-inch layer after several days of continual freezing temperatures. It is important to wait until after the temperatures are below freezing so that rodents do not nest in the mulch before the cold sets in.
Monitor the cedar mulch throughout the year. Cedar mulch does not break down or lose its color quickly, so most gardeners must only redistribute the mulch from time to time with a rake to keep it looking attractive.
Remove mulch from over plants in the spring if you used it to insulate roots. Pull the mulch back after the ground begins to warm slightly.
Use the shovel to remove the mulch when it no longer looks attractive and when it has lost its powerful scent. Place the used mulch in the wheelbarrow and discard it. Replace the mulch with a new supply. Repeat step one to apply new mulch to the landscaping area.