To quickly apply a layer of mulch across a large vegetable or flowerbed, first cover the plants
with empty containers. Pots, boxes, cans, used yogurt containers, bushel baskets, or any other
containers will suffice—even garbage cans for larger plants such as freshly planted shrubs and
perennials. This way you won't have to worry about smothering the plants with mulch or stepping
on them as you spread the mulch in the bed. This also keeps the mulch from piling against the
base of each plant, which could result in rot and disease problems. When you're finished
applying the mulch, simply remove the containers. Beautiful!