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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.

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

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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!

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Sunday - February 26, 2006

From: Delta, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Soils
Title: Plants harmed by chipped spruce and evergreens for mulch in Colorado
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What plants would be harmed by using chipped Spruce and evergreens for mulch? Thank you.

ANSWER:

If the plants you are growing are native to Colorado, they should not be harmed by spruce and evergreen mulch. You can expect some slow acidification of the soil from using mulch from evergreens so you would want to avoid putting it around plants that prefer basic soils. With any mulch you need to be aware of the possibility of crown and stem rot from too much moisture held near them. This is especially so for herbaceous and small woody plants. You can avoid this problem by not putting the mulch right up around the stem. Leave at least 1 inch around the stem free of mulch and don't layer it too thickly.

 

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