Mulching prevents weed growth, preserves soil moisture and is aesthetically pleasing in the garden bed. Organic mulches such as pine bark break down over time, which allows them to release their nutrients into the soil. Organic mulches work well on most beds to prevent weeds and help the soil condition. These include pine and other tree bark, compost, leaf mold, grass clippings and other organic materials. Planting through the mulch allows you to expand a perennial bed or replant an annual bed without first removing the mulch.
Pull any weeds that have grown through the mulch in the spring. Pull up any remaining dead plant material and remove any garden debris from the bed.
Push the pine bark or other mulch aside and dig your planting hole. Set the plant in the hole at the same level it is at in its nursery pot then firm the soil around it.
Replace the mulch around the plants after placing them in the ground. Add additional pine bark until the mulch is approximately 2 to 3 inches thick---the optimal thickness for weed suppression.
Water the plant as usual, providing approximately 1 to 2 inches of moisture a week. The water drains between the mulch to the soil below unhindered.
Fertilize the plants as recommended for the plant variety. Either move the mulch aside and fertilize or fertilize directly on top of it then water thoroughly afterward to wash the fertilizer down into the soil.