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Mulch "maintenance" - mold and shrroms problems

Mulch "maintenance" - mold and shrroms problems

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  #1  
Old 09-29-18, 03:20 PM
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Mulch "maintenance" - mold and shrroms problems

So I am "new " to mulch...meaning that only recently I started to use it.
I put it under the live hedge and on the large area outside of house to keep the grass in check and only allow some flowers and small bushes to grow around my house.

The problem is that I am seeing a large amount of mold (mostly white mold) and also, in a few spots I even noticed groups of mushrooms growing .

I never expected that... so my question is - did I get a poor quality mulch that was contaminated or is this relatively normal and I simply need to treat the mulch with fungicidal agents ??

If it is the second - then what would you recommend? Which product and frequency ?

thanks !
 
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  #2  
Old 09-29-18, 03:39 PM
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Perfectly normal, the wood chips/mulch are in constant state of decomposition, just keep turning it over and adding new material every few years!
 
  #3  
Old 09-29-18, 06:03 PM
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but I just put it down like 2 months ago....is it normal to see large patches of mold ?
 
  #4  
Old 09-29-18, 06:53 PM
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As Marq said, perfectly normal. Dampness, humidity, type of mulch, soil conditions, etc. all play a role, and no, it's not unprecedented to see it on relatively new mulch. Also as Marq mentioned, roll it over with a rake or fork, and it will generally go away as quickly as it shows up. We've been mulching our own for quite a few years now, so don't buy any very often, but as you get more in the future you will see that sometimes it's dry inside the bag and sometimes it's soaking wet, and when conditions are right it sprouts mold and mushrooms over night. But, again, it goes away once you fluff it up a bit.
 
  #5  
Old 09-29-18, 07:03 PM
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The type of mulch can play a part. All wood will decay, that process includes mold and fungi. But certain types of mulch are better than others. Cypress, cedar, or treated mulch. And perhaps if you have used inferior mulch you might consider getting rid of / replacing it with a quality mulch... not the stuff the lawn companies cut from local trees then make and sell as a way of getting rid of their waste. Otherwise, don't worry about a natural process that you can't completely control. Putting fungicides on is probably not a perfect solution.
 
  #6  
Old 09-30-18, 04:09 AM
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As X stated some types of wood are better than others but I believe weather and ground conditions also play a big part. I've been buying my mulch from the landfill [chipped limbs of all species] and haven't had any mold/fungi issues but my ground is mostly slate rock so it doesn't hold a lot of water.
 
  #7  
Old 09-30-18, 05:39 AM
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not the stuff the lawn companies cut from local trees then make and sell as a way of getting rid of their waste.
I love this stuff, my local landscape yard sells this for $10 yard and when we put in new perennial beds we put down 8" of this, let it sit for a year then put down a couple inches of good cedar mulch.

Plants love it and I save a fortune by not using all cedar!

Just remember, it all turns to dirt eventually!
 
  #8  
Old 10-07-18, 09:34 AM
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Rather than starting a new post...I'd like to get more input as, after only 2 months of having mulched my property, I think I did the wrong thing and regret it.

First few questions:
- How often should I turn over / rake it?
- Do you guys spray insecticides, pesticides anything else in terms of treatment ?

The reason for my dissatisfaction... Main reason for applying the mulch was to create a nice landscape and reduce my time of maintaining the lawn, trimming around the various plants and bushes etc...etc...
However, what I am now discovering:
- squirrels make a mess by digging the mulch
- seems I got even more flying insects and bugs all around the property
- in some spots the mulch is attacked by mold - sometimes it shows on the surface, sometimes it is hidden right under the surface - creating large, hard crest...with white mold right under it.

Seems I now have more work to maintain the mulch vs. when I had just grass growing....

Any suggestions / reco appreciated.
 
  #9  
Old 10-07-18, 10:44 AM
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I only rake or do other maintenance as needed. They sell sprays that help deter pests/pets from digging thru the mulch. If you can promote better drainage you'd likely have less mold.
 
  #10  
Old 10-07-18, 01:19 PM
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reason for applying the mulch was to create a nice landscape and reduce my time of maintaining the lawn
Were talking a lawn, beds, shrubs, plants, flowers on and on!!

Time saver, forget it!

The key to mulch is having enough, the material is constently breaking down.

My beds get new layer of mulch, 4" every 3 years, give or take. The mulch is at least 6' thick which keeps weeds away.

Every spring we spend a couple of weekends to put down 25 yards of mulch, thankfully I have a tractor and loader, we have lots of beds. Then we just leave them alone till the next year!
https://www.doityourself.com/forum/a...1&d=1538940161
 
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  #11  
Old 10-07-18, 02:36 PM
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".....If you can promote better drainage you'd likely have less mold...."

this might be an issue...before putting down my mulch I was told that I should use some plastic barrier to prevent weeds....so under the mulch I have the weed barrier that also blocks water drainage. I used the densest possible fabric which blocks 70% water too
 
  #12  
Old 10-07-18, 03:43 PM
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I'm not qualified to go far as to say that the plastic is indeed the problem, but it only stands to reason that it is restricting drainage, so could very well be a factor, and maybe the factor. And beside that, it makes it a royal pain to adequately cultivate, fluff, or whatever you want to call it going forward. Given that it's new and hasn't had a chance to start falling apart, which it will do, I would roll it back, get it out of there, and put the mulch back right on the ground. I have seen it dozens of times, and even tried it myself a few times quite a number of years back, and will say that it does nothing positive. If you're worried about weeds taking hold before the mulch has time to settle down, we use a pre-emergent like Preen sometimes, and I believe that it is effective.
 
  #13  
Old 10-07-18, 04:56 PM
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[QUOTE]
If you can promote better drainage you'd likely have less mold[/QUOTE
Drainage and mold are not related, dont over think, putting down any type of weed block is useless since the natural transition is from mulch to dirt.
 
  #14  
Old 10-07-18, 05:02 PM
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Drainage can be related if the lack of it keeps the mulch wet/damp. Mold needs moisture, heat and a food source [mulch]
 
  #15  
Old 11-27-18, 04:01 PM
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The purpose of the mulch is to prevent weeds and improve the soil over time with decomposition. The plastic weed barrier has a very negative impact on the health of the soil which impacts the health of the plants. The soil gets dry & impacted and worms and other healthy organisms are absent from the soil. Get rid of the plastic and make sure you have at least 4 inches of mulch to stop the weeds. Healthy soil is the key to having a healthy garden & landscape. You have flies & bugs due to the rotting mulch- that decomposing material normally gets absorbed by little microorganisms into the soil and makes for very healthy soill but you have a barrier there preventing that natural process from happening.
The squirrels will still dig- they bury their acorns & gifted nuts and have to find them by memory- not scent. They come back looking for what they buried and have trouble remembering. That's how they make a living and ensure they have enough to eat & feed their young.
 
  #16  
Old 11-28-18, 05:00 AM
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100% agree on not using plastic under the mulch! They sell landscape fabric that can be used [water will go thru it] but I normally just spread newsprint down before mulching. Newspaper doesn't last as long as landscape fabric but it doesn't complicate any future plant changes.
 
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