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

Blackfoot daisy turning brown in Round Rock, TX
September 30, 2009 - A few days ago, our blackfoot daisy was doing wonderfully. Then we got heavy rains and suddenly the plant is sere and brown. Did the too wet weather do this, and will it come back next year?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for screen in Colleyville TX
March 12, 2009 - My soil is pure sand that goes down as far as I can dig. I am needing native plants to use as a screen, that grow to be 6-10 ft. tall. Also, since my plantings dry out so quickly, would it be helpfu...
view the full question and answer

Is mulch from hackberry and chinaberry trees safe for flowerbeds?
September 17, 2014 - We had to remove several large hackberry and china berry trees. Is its mulch safe to use in garden and in flower beds?
view the full question and answer

Buffalograss for Mason County, TX
August 19, 2009 - I am interested in planting buffalo grass at a ranch home in between Mason and Fredericksburg, TX. I've read buffalograss doesn't do well in sandy soils, which this area (Hilda, TX) seems to have a ...
view the full question and answer

Dirt at tree base from Austin
November 03, 2012 - Hello, I recently bought a home in Austin with a live oak tree which is about eight years old. The previous owner did exactly what all the experts say NOT to do, which was to mound dirt right up agai...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center