By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Step 1 : Prepare the area
Before spreading a layer of mulch on a garden bed, break up the soil and pull out all the weeds. Use a hand weeder to remove weeds, roots and all. Then smooth the soil so it's level. Give the plants a good watering and let it soak in.
Step 2 : Spread the mulch
Use a shovel or rake to distribute the mulch so there's an even layer of mulching material about 4-to-6 inches thick. Spread it around by hand and be careful not to smother plant stems with mulch, give them enough breathing room. Since you're working on your hands and knees, work on a kneeling pad to make the job more comfortable.