En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - December 07, 2007

From: Wimberley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch
Title: Shredded hardwood for mulch
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I intend to landscape a section of my new property. but want to wait until the cold weather has passed. I have pets that will be contained within a fenced-in area that has some wild grasses but also large sections of dirt. I had some cedars and a few live oaks (with consideration to oak wilt concerns) taken out and put through a chipper. Would it be a good idea to spread that mulch on the areas of dirt until I can landscape? Or would another material be better?

ANSWER:

Ooh, lucky you. You have the very thing you need for mulching, and you don't have to pay for it. Well, probably you paid to have it chipped, but anyway. If you go to a nursery and look at bagged mulches, you'll notice that some of the best are called "shredded hardwood," which is what you have. They will make a super mulch while you prepare to landscape, and should be easy on your pets' feet. And the nicest thing about that mulch is that it will continue to decompose, and can be turned into the soil as an enrichment, or smoothed back over the roots of the new plants as you put them in. The only time you will need to scrape it away is if you are planting seeds directly into the ground. The seeds need sunlight to sprout. Of course, the weeds will also be delighted to sprout when you scrape away the mulch, but you can't have everything. This Natural Resources Conservation Service website will give you all kinds of good information on what to use and how to use it as mulch.

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Garden problems from Centreville VA
July 23, 2011 - Plants die, trees won't grow. I've replaced the soil (6") twice. Replaced grass twice and planted new plants and tree. After two yrs, the tree is still the same size and the flowering bushes nea...
view the full question and answer

Could ammonia harm poisonous, non-native oleander in Bay Point CA
December 20, 2009 - Could ammonia harm my Oleander plant? I have been spraying ammonia under it to keep neighborhood cats from using the soil under the plant as a sand box. If so, do you have any suggestions as to what...
view the full question and answer

Area under live oaks from Austin
October 08, 2012 - We have many live oaks in our mostly shaded half acre. While I have tried to plant mostly native plants, often beneath them, the plants are showered with leathery leaves, acorns and sap, while oak sp...
view the full question and answer

Berms to hold water around roots
December 05, 2008 - I planted new flower beds this November. There are currently dirt 'berms' around each plant - creating a well for water to seep into the immediate plant area. How can I keep these berms from erodi...
view the full question and answer

Native grass for caliche soil in Austin
February 06, 2010 - I am interested in using native grasses in part of my lawn per the recent article on these from the Wildflower Center. The problem is I live W. of Austin where there is very little top soil and calic...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center