Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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 Soils Questions

Soils for spiderwort from Round Rock TX
August 08, 2013 - We have spiderworts growing naturally in our backyard. We put a large circle around them them with limestone rock (as our beds have) to make their own bed as they clumped in one area. What kind of s...
view the full question and answer

Is it OK to remove soil around oaks - Austin, TX.
May 24, 2013 - I have several oaks trees (one live oak + burr oaks) from 15'-35' in height. They seem healthy. A local arborist says they were planted too deep and that the soil around them needs to be excavated t...
view the full question and answer

Use of fresh clippings from tree trimmers for mulch in Austin
May 02, 2010 - Hi, The tree trimmers are in my neighborhood (east central Austin) to clear the power lines and said I can have a load of free mulch. I am wondering if there is any harm in using the fresh mulch from...
view the full question and answer

Further information on soil pH for growing blueberries
December 31, 2008 - Thank you for your reponse to my question / comment. You were exactly right about soil pH. Here is what Clemson University Extension has to say about growing blueberries in North and South Carolina....
view the full question and answer

Vine for full sun in Las Vegas NV
July 05, 2013 - Looking for vine to thrive in full sun in Las Vegas, NV. I tried Cape Honeysuckle and Star Jasmine and both died within 5 days. The leaves were burnt. What's your suggestion? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.