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How to Landscape With 2 Different Colors of Mulch

By Kathryn Hatter ; Updated September 21, 2017

Mulch is a landscaping material that has virtually exploded over recent years with many new options available. Whether you choose organic or inorganic mulch, there is an extensive color palette available. If you are daring and bold, you may even consider landscaping with two different mulch colors to give your landscaping an innovative flair.

Select the kind of mulch to apply to your landscaping. Though you will be using two mulch colors, you should use the same kind of mulch for the entire landscaping project. For example, use rubber mulch but use two contrasting colors, or use shredded cedar mulch but use two contrasting colors.

Determine the colors you will use. Two colors in a bold contrast would be a striking combination in a landscape. Determine whether you will use a light color for the main mulch and a dark color for a border or a dark color for the main mulch and a light color for a border.

Measure the perimeter of the area you will be mulching and figure the approximate square feet of the area. Multiply the square feet of your area by the depth of the mulch you wish to apply. For example, to cover a 25-by-20-foot area with 3 inches of mulch, multiply 500 x 3 = 1500. Divide this by 324 (remember: 1 cubic yard of mulch covers 324 square feet with 1 inch of mulch) to find the number of cubic yards of mulch you will need (in this example, 4.63 cubic yards).

Estimate what percentage of the cubic yards of mulch you will need in each color. For example, if you will be mulching with deep red as your main color and black as a border color and you need 4.63 cubic yards of mulch total, estimate that you will need 3 cubic yards in your main color and approximately 1.75 cubic yards in your border color. Purchase extra mulch to ensure you have enough.

Prepare the landscaping area by tilling the soil with the spade to break up the soil. Remove any weeds that are growing. Rake the soil smooth. Drive stakes into the soil to mark where one mulch color will end and the other will begin.

Use the shovel and the wheelbarrow to apply the main mulch color to the area. Pour or dump the mulch into the area and then spread it with the rake so that it is smooth and even. Stop spreading this mulch at the stakes.

Add the border mulch color to fill in the remaining landscape area, using the rake to spread this mulch smooth and even. Make sure the two mulch colors butt right up to each other but do not spread past the lines you determined.

Remove the stakes to finish the mulching project.


Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Garden spade
  • Rake
  • Stakes
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow


About the Author


Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.