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What's the appropriate type of mulch for my yard?

What's the appropriate type of mulch for my yard?

Old 06-26-15, 03:08 AM
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What's the appropriate type of mulch for my yard?

I have a yard that is all bushes, trees, plants.. no lawn. Last few years, I've been dealing with tons and tons of weeds, so I figured I'd do something about it. One gardener recommended compost because it has no chemicals, but from what I've read online, that doesn't do much to prevent weeds. Do I need a layer of compost and then a layer of bark?

My neighborhood mulch supply store sells:

fir-helmock bark in fine, medium-fine, nuggets
top soil blends with compost
bark blend with compost

Too much choice for a newb. :-( What do you recommend, and how many inches of the stuff?

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Old 06-26-15, 03:57 AM
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The first thing you should do is take soil samples to your local Cooperative Extension Service and have it analyzed, letting them know you want to plant a lawn. They will give you information on the proper way to bring the soil back to a growable condition. Often times weeds are an indication of acid soil. Adding lime to your regimen can help sweeten the soil and reduce weeds. Now as for a topping, a good top soil, mushroom compost or other organic matter would help. How large an area are you working with?
Old 06-26-15, 06:24 AM
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You really didn't say what your goal was. Are you trying to prevent weeds or amend and improve the soil?

You can use whatever mulch you would like. No mulch is going to stop weeds 100%. 3 or 4 inches of clean, weed free mulch will help minimize weeds but eventually weeds will grow in the mulch.

There are herbicides that will kill the weeds and their roots and spraying is easier than bending over and pulling them. You will just have to spray whenever you see weeds. Then there are herbicides that can also prevent new weeds from germinating by creating a chemical barrier on the soil's surface and can prevent weeds for up to a year. You have to be a bit more careful with application as rain at the wrong time can wash the chemical onto unwanted areas.
Old 06-26-15, 06:43 AM
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With the slope, I envision any of the products you mentioned being mostly washed toward the bottom after a good rain. The pictures don't look bad to me, but sometimes they don't show the reality of the situation, so I understand perhaps wanting to do something different. In that case, I would ask one of the local experts about ground covers, whether something urban or whatever you might call it, like pachysandra, or something more rural like perennial rye, clover, etc.

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