Red Cedar Mulch is annoying me! Can it do damage if...

daylily77September 8, 2006

Whenever people talk about planting with mulch already in a bed, they just say that they move the mulch aside and then plant. It seems as if it's no problem for them. But for me it is such a problem! I try moving all the mulch aside, but then it's all over other plants, there's no room for just the soil to be stacked without the mulch envading, etc! I just planted a new Daylily plant that I got today and it was such a mess, with the mulch getting all throughout the soil! Is this going to hurt my plants? I really wish I hadn't put that mulch in now. I'd much rather just mulch with organic matter so I didn't have to worry about it mixing in when planting. How long will it take for this mulch to disintegrate? Will the buried mulch (there is tons of it!) disintegrate faster? If so, how much faster? I hope it will be a LOT faster. I can't stand having this stuff in my soil.

I've also heard people say that their mulch always makes it's way back to the top after rain, and that doesn't happen for me either! It just stays throughout my soil. :(

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squeeze(z8 BC)

no, it won't return to the top once mixed in - cedar is one of the longer lasting woods, needs lots of N to break down, but it will - meanwhile you'll need to be adding regular hi-N materials to supply enuff for the plants, as the cedar will tie it up

Bill

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 12:27AM
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daylily77

What qualifies as a high-N material? I'll be adding some tomorrow because this is worrying me! Thanks so much for your reply!

P.S. Approximately how long do you think it will take for the buried ones to break down?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 12:53AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

That is one of the reasons why I do not recommend using wood chips, or any other woody material, as a mulch in flower beds. If your soil has been well amended with compost and other organic matter there should be enough Nitrogen in the soil to take care of a small amount of woody material, the problem really comes when large quantities of woody material are mixed into the soil. Watch the daylilly and see how it grows before getting overly concerned. Depending on how healthy your soil is the cedar mulch may get digested fairly fast, a year, or it may last for quite some time if the soil is not really healthy.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 7:15AM
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trancegemini_wa(10b)

"there's no room for just the soil to be stacked without the mulch envading, etc! I just planted a new Daylily plant that I got today and it was such a mess, with the mulch getting all throughout the soil!"

daylily, you might find this will help, what I do when planting is push the mulch aside so it is out of the way of the hole Im digging, then as I dig out the soil, I put it into a pot, put the plant in, and then use the soil from the pot to fill it in, push the mulch back over to cover it all up. if there isnt enough room to push the mulch aside, just have a second pot on hand to put the mulch into aswell and tip it back on when youre finished planting.

TG

    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 11:22PM
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texasredhead(z8Texas)

I mulch almost excusively with pine straw.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 9:09AM
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