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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.

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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.

 

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