Another mulch question....

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Old 05-10-02, 05:24 AM
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Another mulch question....

I'm thinking of putting cedar mulch around the trees in my yard and possibly around the foudation of my house. Will doing this encourage bugs to live in these places killing trees or damaging wood work on house? I live in upstate NY if that makes any difference as far as bugs goes. Maybe a different type of mulch help...I don't know. Thanks Tim
 
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Old 05-10-02, 07:03 AM
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Hello Tim

I'm moving this post over to the 'Garden' forum - I think you'll get more response over there (here)

Putting mulch of any kind around trees and along your foundations will give some bugs a place to live, but the benefits of mulch outweigh the drawbacks (in my opinion). Mulch will help keep weeds down and retain moisture in the ground as well as adding to the overall appearance of the landscape. Just don't put too much (more than 3"-4") down - you don't want any aerobic activity in the ground destroyed by the air being cut off from the soil. As long as the mulch isn't physically making contact with wood siding along your foundations, there won't be a direct path from the ground for ants or termites. Sowbugs (pillbugs), and some centipede/millipedes might find a home there, but they generally feed on garden litter and shouldn't be a problem unless they get INTO your house. Earwigs might find shelter there - bait or Diatomatious Earth incesticides should take care of them, though.

Hope others will share their opinions and experiences with you here, also

Good Luck with your Landscape

Howie
 

Last edited by howiek; 05-10-02 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 05-10-02, 10:21 AM
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Thanks Howiek!
 
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Old 05-10-02, 08:40 PM
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Mulch

You can use just about any type of wood mulch. I use shredded pine bark because it's easily available here in Maryland. Cedar will just take longer to break down. Make sure there is at least 6" to 8" of space from the top of the mulch to the bottom of where the siding starts so there is no path for termites.

When you place the mulch around the trees, don't pile it up against the trunk. The idea is to help retard weeds, keep lawn mowers and weed wackers from damaging the bark and to help retain moisture. Leave space between the mulch and the trunk so you don't smother the tree over time.

You will have bugs in the mulch as they help to break it down and enrich the soil. Most of them will be no problem and are actually beneficial.

Newt
 
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Old 05-11-02, 07:56 PM
Gami
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Hi Tim,

You can buy cedar mulch, which is a little more expensive, but it repels insects. Cedar is also used for birdhouses, fences, window boxes, etc., as it doesn't rot as fast as other woods. Sooooooo, cedar mulch would not rot, compost, or break down as fast as other wood mulch.

Newt, isn't it amazing how many landscape companies you see pile the mulch about 6-8" or more directly up a tree? Makes ya' wonder.

Gami
 
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Old 05-11-02, 08:05 PM
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Mulch and trees

Yes Gami, it does amaze me how the landscape companies just pile the mulch around the trunks of the trees and then people wonder why the trees get sick over time. One of my other pet peves is the way they prune the trees around here. They just lop off a branch anywhere and it looks so funky!

Newt
 
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Old 05-12-02, 05:24 AM
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Thanks Everybody! I have had an awful time getting grass to grow under my trees because of shade. I've tried that shadey type grass but it doesn't hold up to light traffic. So I figured mulch will look better than plain dirt. Tim
 
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Old 05-12-02, 07:01 AM
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Hi again Tim

If you want to try it, your best bet for turfgrass in a dry shady location is the Fine Leaved Fescues (Creeping Red, Chewings, Sheep and Hard). They won't give you a White House Lawn, but would give you some green cover...

Or you could go with the mulch or groundcover/open earth thing...

Good Luck

Howie
 
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Old 05-13-02, 04:44 AM
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Hi Howiek, I was looking at different grass seed at Lowes this weekend. And I picked up a bag of the Red Creeping Fescues that you mentioed. The desciption on the bag fits my needs. Thanks for the tip! Tim
 
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