Best Mulch?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by jillianjiggs, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. jillianjiggs

    jillianjiggs Well-Known Member

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    We just got a little apartment with an okay sized yard w/ concrete patio. We've got about 100 sq. feet of gardening space. It's small, but that means less work for me! I'm hoping to buy some mulch this weekend so that I can get the garden started. We'll be planting mostly bulbs and perinnials, with a few annuals as they hit the stores. We're also hoping to put in a little trellis to cover the funky tripod our satellite dish is on. Any recommendations as far as mulch? (we're in Sacramento..it gets up to about 106 during the summer, and not lower than about 30 during winter nights)
     
  2. SW Ohio

    SW Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Might depend on soil type if you are considering pine bark. Some might say free mulch is best (see mamabear's thread - "wood chip motherlode").

    Shredded hardwood bark mulch is good. The bark mulches hold up better due to the waxes in the bark that resist rotting. Nice dark color and around here available in bulk as well as bagged. They also dye mulches at a lot of the bulk places if you want a specific color.

    My personal opinion is the shredded cypress is fantastic stuff. Really hangs in there for a long time but pricey around here.

    But what is the primary purpose of the mulch? To shade the soil and keep it cool, water retention, weed block, or decorative? I assume it is all of the above so remember that a deep mulch works best and I think 4 inches in the recommended thickness of the mulch layer. I recommend spreading newspaper down (no slicks just the regular pages) a couple overlapping layers thick, as a weed block under the mulch, it really helps control the weeds. There are also commercial fabric products available.

    Have fun with your garden, Brian.
     

  3. jillianjiggs

    jillianjiggs Well-Known Member

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    I ended up getting both compost and bark mulch for the garden. I spread about an inch of composted poo, and then added about 2 1/2 inches of bark mulch. You're right though...we're using the bark for all of the above! I hate weeding, I hate watering three times a day during the summer, and I like the way a nice little garden looks. We planted a lot of bulbs, and bought some poppies, geraniums, alyssum, columbines, lavender, and daffodils to look at in the mean time. I think I still want a little dwarf citrus tree and a climbing pink jasmine!
     
  4. stonefly71

    stonefly71 Well-Known Member

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    I use to work for a landscape company and we used a bag mulch that was double or triple shredded ( pine bark)? and for the life of me can't remember the name of it . It came in a yellowish/cream bag with green or brown writing on it and the boss bought it from VA. I believe. I've been trying to find the name of the company or someone from the area who might know what I'm talking about. all I remember is this stuff wasit was high dollar stuff but when added to soil and put on top of ground it attracted the most worms I'd ever saw and the soil whether it was the worst soil on earth or good would be the best in a few months with this mulch on and in it. It might have been called a soil conditioner but don't remember.any help. And your question I'd use the finest stuff you could find it looks better to me and hold in more water. Later Matt P.S. this mulch came is I belive 50 lb bags the boss would buy 1 to 2 truck loads at a time which would last about 1/2 the year.
     
  5. jillianjiggs

    jillianjiggs Well-Known Member

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    I love worms. :) I don't like touching them, but they're good for the garden. Every single shovel full I pulled up had the wiggly guys in it. So far, the plants are looking good, but I think we'll need more mulch once it starts warming up som.