Mulch

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by mimajon, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. mimajon

    mimajon Member

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    How does one determine the best mulch to use in tree and mulch beds? IE: Is bark mulch better than root mulch? IE: Is Premium Hardwood Mulch (triple shredded) better than Double Ground Root Mulch?
     
  2. SRTech

    SRTech Member

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    You typically don't have to use anything special that I know of. Leaves, Compost, and other green material makes pretty good mulch.

    A friend of mine has a nice post about mulching around tree that I often refer to here
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  4. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    My personal favorite is even free! Go to the yellow pages and start calling the "tree people" till you find one who is working with a chipper in your area. Make sure they are not doing roadside work (in our area this can include a lot of broom & seeds). I try to find one pruning or clearing alder. Offer them a nearby dump site and 'voila!' free mulch. Definitely reserve the right to check the load and turn it down if you see a bunch of junk. On top of cardboard works great.
    Ralph
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  6. aua101

    aua101 Member

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    I want to use my pineneedles as mulch. I think mine are called white pines. Will I have any problem with it?Angelika from Clarksville, Tn. HOME OF THE SCREAMING EAGLE...101ABN DIV (AASLT), KY
     
  7. RED

    RED Member

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    I used white pine needles this past year on a bed that replaced my entire front lawn and it worked great. The needles nested together beautifully. I mulched about 4" deep. They will settle to about 3" within a month. I haven't experienced any acidic affects as of yet. I have grasses, sedum, potentilla, many conifers, hydrangea, iris, vibernum, hosta, heucheras, among others in the bed. Have you tried your needles yet?
     
  8. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

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    I save newspapers (none with coloured print) and pile them about two inches deep, then top with a couple of inches of coarse bark mulch. It lasts two or three years before the weeds start to break through in any numbers.
     
  9. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I know that some newspapers use plant-based dyes these days instead of the old dyes that contained trace amounts of heavy metals. You might want to contact the newspapers and find out what they use (it might save you some effort in sorting!).
     

  10. Do you need to till in the 2" of news paper after the weeds start to break through or has it almost all decomposed at this point? Does the news paper allow water to get to the soil for irrigation?
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Skip the paper entirely, just use the chips.
     
  12. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

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    Good point about the dyes Daniel.

    I have areas where I have used straight chips and areas where I have used chips on paper. Chips on paper definately provides a longer lasting barrier and it composts the newspaper in place.

    There is no need to till the paper in. It is pretty much gone after a couple of years but I have a lot of worms. A lot!
     
  13. jogardener

    jogardener Member

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    I have just planted a new garden -- shrubs and trees -- and was told by the landscape designer to use cedar mulch. Upon trying to acquire cedar mulch and the apparent lack of availability, I am questioning and researching other options. Are woodchips still considered a good option? If yes, what exactly constitutes woodchips? In the next week we will be having 5 old growth hemlocks cut down on our property and the tree removal company will be chipping the branches -- are those suitable as "woodchips"?
     
  14. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If they run it through a chipper part of it will be needles and part of it wood. The leaves should be helpful spread over the beds as well.

    Too bad the hemlocks are being cut down. Are they failing? There aren't that many old growth trees around anymore.
     
  15. jogardener

    jogardener Member

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    Thanks for the info. It's not a problem then putting the needle/wood chip concoction on in it's freshly chipped state? (I have laid down landscape fabric). I read somewhere that fresh woodchips suck the nitrogen out of the soil and plants and it should be composted for at least 6 months -- have you heard of this?

    As far as the hemlocks being removed -- unfortunately, with the storms this winter and one 70 ft. hemlock through our roof, through consultation with a certified arborist and the local government arborist, as we are in a riparian zone, is was determined that 5 of the trees on our property are either an immediate danger or future danger due to decline. We will miss them, yet will be replacing with an equal number of native trees, although, not so mature.
     
  16. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    After you pull up the landscape fabric and throw it away

    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda Chalker-Scott/Horticultural Myths_files/Myths/Landscape cloth.pdf

    spread the fresh chips

    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda ...ltural Myths_files/Myths/Toxic yard waste.pdf

    before the needles in particular generate clouds of possibly dangerous mold (probably should wear a mask even if you beat the conspicuously moldy stage, which starts quite soon after chipping).

    Yes, I suspected you had wind damage and the trees had been determined to be hazardous. Many hemlocks and other native conifers affected by development went down in this area. It is also normal for stands of native trees to be culled periodically by high winds or fires, even without bulldozing, paving, filling or drainage alterations going on within them. Old growth stands are often criss-crossed with fallen trees dating back to prior episodes of high winds.
     
  17. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I am unsure how to start a topic so have found this mulch thread to post an observation I have mad re mulch.

    Yesterday was a big day cleaning my jungle and rediscovering my plants. I had hired help and we got a lot done. I had my new load of free wood shavings to deposit in a cleaned out area. My worry was given our drastic drought that if I covered up any soil area, when the rain did arrive it would not be able to get through easily. Much to my suprise when we scraped a small area clean to make a nice high mound for later distribution we found the ground very damp. Why because all those years of putting mulch down had kept the soil damp beneath and as a result I have had a high survival rate with no watering. Lost a couple of pots but nothing in the garden. I also had a teacher tell me of a recent experiment she did with her students and tomatoe plants. Half mulch half not. The mulch ones went ahead by leaps and bounds. So what I am trying to say is if you are in an area that is tight for water mulching in all its forms is a real water saver.

    Liz (we are goping for a big rain dump tonight)
     

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