For us the hardest part was leveling the backyard. Initially the flagstone walkway was buried under dirt and weeds. Finding it was pure accident; we mistakenly dug to far down on one side and discover that there was flagstone about 2 feet below ground. So we excavated the walkway area which forced us to shuffle most of the dirt to the center and back of the yard. We had to throw away at least ten bags of dirt.
In this case we are using the mulch as a form of weed control. After leveling the yard, we added a fiber membrane on top of the soil to keep weeds from growing through the mulch.
• Protects the soil from erosion
• Reduces compaction from the impact of heavy rains
• Conserves moisture, reducing the need for frequent watering
• Maintains a more even soil temperature
• Prevents weed growth
• Keeps fruits and vegetables clean
• Keeps feet clean, allowing access to garden even when damp
• Provides a "finished" look to the garden