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wood chips vs. mulch for flower beds? And your thoughts on cardboard under that

wood chips vs. mulch for flower beds? And your thoughts on cardboard under that


  #1  
Old 07-18-22, 09:43 AM
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wood chips vs. mulch for flower beds? And your thoughts on cardboard under that

I've been using the black dyed wood mulch - either scotts or Home depot / vigoro brand for a bunch of years.

Next door neighbor put in uncolored wood chips along the wire fence he put in between our properties.

I wonder if I should use wood chips in the beds along our shared property line. Looking on line, I keep finding web pages that contradict themselves - chips hold more moisture, chips hold less moisture, etc... Weird.

What's your thoughts about chips vs. mulch in flower beds. And these articles all talk of mulch & chips lasting 5 - 10 years. I never get that. maybe 2 years for mulch.

Examples:

https://www.evergreenseeds.com/wood-chips-vs-mulch

says:
  • The bigger size of the wood chip chunks contributes to their ability to absorb more moisture.
  • the shredded wood mulch decomposes at a faster rate than the wood chips.
Then says:
  • If you are covering the ground for water retention, then mulch would be a better option than wood chips.(true, that refers to keeping water in the soil, not water in the wood material).
  • Wood bark mulch can stick around for approximately 10 years, which is quite longer than the five-year duration of wood chips.


And what's your thoughts on cardboard under the mulch / chips as a way to kill off existing weeds. I read to use the unprinted brown cardboard under mulch. It breaks down over time.

I used the plastic weed block material in the past. But then mulch breaks down and you have nice soil above the weed block for weeds to grow in subsequent years. at least with cardboard, there isn't that plastic layer that doesn't break down.
 
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Old 07-18-22, 10:10 AM
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I have reached the point where I pretty much ignore all the "expert" and contradicting opinions on line. Except here of course.

In my "expert" opinion mulch is more attractive but only lasts2-3 years. Wood chips last longer, can be ugly in the wrong spot but are usually cheaper than mulch. In my town wood chips are free at the landfill.
 
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Old 07-18-22, 10:51 AM
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Chips or mulch, eventually it all turns to dirt!

To keep weeds away you need about 4" of either.
 
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Old 07-18-22, 11:39 AM
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Marq - We got the weed thing figured out. When we moved back into our house the flower beds were over run with weeds after being neglected for nearly two summers. After we clear the weeds we spray 3-4 times a week. Either with a home made spray or Roundup. As long as we stay on top of it it only takes about 15 minutes. As soon as a weed pokes it's head through the mulch we kill it before it can get established.

 
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Old 07-18-22, 12:52 PM
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what's your thoughts on cardboard under the mulch / chips as a way to kill off existing weeds. I read to use the unprinted brown cardboard under mulch.
I've never used cardboard under mulch but I routinely use newsprint. It works decent and disappears by the time you need to put down new mulch.
 
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Old 07-18-22, 12:57 PM
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I've abandoned the mulch several years ago and went with all stone landscaping. Minimal upkeep. Of course it may not be right for all situations.
 
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Old 07-18-22, 01:33 PM
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I like the look of stone but IMO it's more tedious keeping the weeds out of it.
 
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Old 07-18-22, 01:44 PM
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I just spary it with Spectricide vegitation killer every once inwhile.
I use the Spectricide becvause it does not leach into the grass area and kill the grass as does the other stuff.
When I say stone I mean rocks in the flower bed.
 
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Old 07-18-22, 04:45 PM
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it's more tedious keeping the weeds out
Its more tedious keeping all the leaves. twigs, blown in wood chips. Takes me all summer just picking the crap out a little every few days and then it's fall again!
 
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Old 07-18-22, 08:34 PM
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weed killer - we go to a sunflower farm in the fall for the last several years just to walk around - agro-tourism! It's great.

We are in awe that they have all these acres of sunflowers.... and minimal weeds in there. They said they plant the sunflowers then they spray a pre-emergent the next day that kills the weeds, doesn't affect the sunflowers? and then they just water! acres of no weeds!

Not sure if the stuff is so strong it makes it a toxic dump, but it is great to see so few weeds!

They gave the name of it... it wasn't scotts or anything like that. some pro stuff. Of course, I don't have the name. Gotta ask them again this fall!

 
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Old 11-13-22, 05:43 PM
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In my opinion, wood chips are better than the mulch you buy at the stores. Do wood chips hold more moisture, not sure. But free is better than paying for mulch. Also, yes cardboard under the wood chips will help with killing off the weeds. Lay down the cardboard, then wet it down good or the wood chips will just slide off the cardboard if on a hill or slope. Also wetting the cardboard will help break it down and feed the worms in your soil.
Me personally I don't use roundup or pesticides, I try and limit my exposure to chemicals. Just my thoughts.
 
 

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