En EspaÑol

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

Wednesday - May 06, 2009

From: Marble Falls, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Soils, Trees
Title: Should shredded Ashe juniper be composted for mulch?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Our neighbor shredded some Texas Hill Country cedar trees. Can we use it safely as mulch? Do we need to wait until it composts some?

ANSWER:

We love to recommend shredded hardwood mulches, and believe your Ashe Juniper ("cedar") will be just fine without having been composted first. But we did do some research just to back this up. The consensus we got from other sources was that it smelled good, helped to repel insects, kept the soil cool and was perfectly all right uncomposted. We would recommend that you put some nitrogen fertilizer in/on the soil before you apply the mulch. An organic mulch will decompose, as if it were being composted, and gradually improve the soil texture. However, along the way, it will use some nitrogen. Your plants need nitrogen, too, so a little added nitrogen fertilizer would be a good idea. Just don't get carried away-too much nitrogen will encourage your blooming plants to NOT bloom, which is going a bit too far. Lucky you to have a free source of a good mulch.

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Possibility of hydrophobic soil in Austin, TX.
July 13, 2011 - I believe I have an area in my garden with “hydrophobic soil”: no matter how much or how slowly I water, it just beads up and rolls off and the soil beneath remains cement dry and powdery. In my readi...
view the full question and answer

Shade ground cover under honeysuckle from Wichita KS
February 21, 2012 - Hi! I know this is a bit odd, but I am trying to find a nontoxic, good ground covering plant that can live in the shade while competing with the roots of a whole bunch of honeysuckle. I have a few ide...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves
May 06, 2008 - What causes yellowing of native garden plant leaves?
view the full question and answer

Browning leaves on recently planted chinkapin oak in Rockwall TX
June 09, 2010 - I just planted a chinkapin oak that is about 1 1\2 inches thick last week and now some of the leaves are turning brown. Does that mean its dying? Do you have any tips that I could use to protect it?
view the full question and answer

Flowering vine for trellis behind fountain in Anaheim Hills CA
June 05, 2010 - We are looking for a flowering vine to plant on a trellis surrounding a water fountain. The fountain splashes leaving the soil constantly wet. We have tried numerous vines, but they all die due to t...
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