Sunset Mag 'tend your plot' tips--ques.
In this month's (May's, I mean) issue of Sunset on the "What to do in the Rockies" garden checklist, it says:
"Fertilize ornamentals Rake off existing organic mulch and add it to the compost bin. Then, following label instructions, broadcast organic fertilizer over beds of herbs, perennial flowers, roses, shrubs, and vines. Next, spread 2 to 3 inches of good-quality compost or well-rotted manure between the plants. Finally, lay 4 to 6 inches of fresh mulch over the soil. For beds mulched with rock or gravel, leave the mulch in place and top-dress with fertilizer and 1 to 2 inches of fine compost. Then add new rock mulch to bare patches."
So this high altitude gardening is still pretty new to me (this will be my second summer here -- near Boulder, CO) and has already been established I have a fair bit to learn. I did not do any of this last spring although I did regularly feed everything (water-based). When I read the Sunset blurb my stomach sank, like "oh crap -- that's a lot of work!" Our whole front yard is ornamentals with a few inches of mulch: the thought of taking all that mulch off, layering the fertilizer, compost and all brand new mulch is, well, a bit daunting. I could barely get it together to make dinner tonight ....
Clearly that kind of attention would be great for the plants, but I'm curious how far you all go. Can I get away with scraping back mulch, doing the fertilizer and compost / manure around the plants, and then spreading the old mulch with more to get it back up to 4 to 6 inches?
Thanks for the feedback!