Marble as mulch?

early_bird_2007October 28, 2007

Hi, everyone!

I have some plants (hibiscus, jasmin, vinca) growing right at the wall of my house. They mulched with cypress mulch and I am conserned about thermites - found them twice in the mulch . So I am going to replace it by landscaping fabric and marble rock (already have some). Only I am not sure how well marble will serve as mulch. What do you think?

Maria

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fawnridge(10A)

Not a good idea. The marble will increase the alkalinity of the soil and not be good at all for the plants. Use river rock or lava rock which are neutral in terms of pH.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 8:38PM
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susieq07

I'm here to tell you marble work great! have it all around our home, with weed block underneath, would never have mulch, it floats or is washed out, and dries out blows away, breeds insects like crazy they love it, including palmetos/roaches, ants etc. bugs love dark damp places to breed...here's pic. plus all our plants thrive

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 10:42AM
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early_bird_2007

OK, I am confused. Now I am not even sure it's marble. I didn't buy it, I sort of inherited it. Some pieces look like marble some like granite. Could somebody tell me what is it?
And if it's marble does it matter that it was dumped outside for some time and washed by rain?
Maria

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 5:20PM
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fawnridge(10A)

Yes, those are marble chips.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 5:29PM
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lacoquina

To me rocks are not mulch. Mulch is something that breaks down and enriches the soil. Rocks are decorative amendments. They're really nice in the right setting but I think calling them mulch is a misnomer.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 6:42PM
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susieq07

Yes they are marble mine are different shades also, even mauve in them, just love them, of course it's not mulch, but it is a bedding cover, and much prefered in FL. if you go for mulch, you can expect to re-mulch once a yr. possibly, we got enough work, in this FL. heat, I'll stick with my marble stones....

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 7:10PM
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an_ill-mannered_ache

rocks used as mulch are called lithic mulch. there's a long history of its use, particularly in very poor growing conditions (think -- tropical volcanic islands -- eg easter island). it provides cover for germination and roots, and the wash from the rocks also provides essential nutrients.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 6:46AM
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countrynest(z9)

Maria, by now you must really be confuse. My answer is this:
I would not use any kind of mulch right next to the house due to the danger of termite. Everywhere else I would use mulch. Not cypress but anything else specially pine needles. I am happy when they decompose and I need to replace it. That means that my soil is being improve. I am planning on a cactus bed.
I will be using river rocks because I do not want my soil to change its pH level. Some plants not only like acid soil but will die if not planted in the right pH level. Blueberries is one example.
So maria, if you do not mind that the soil will become more alkaline go ahead and use the marble. These statements are base on science not on opinions. We are here to try to help each other. I for one, want to make sure that I thank you all for your time and expertise and knowledge that you contribute to me.
Felix

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 5:31PM
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early_bird_2007

Thanks, everybody.
I did some research and it looks like vinca and jasmine will tolerate alkaline soil and hibiscus will not. So I am going to put marble under vinca and jasmine for start and see how they are doing.
Here is another q. about mulch. Not long ago I made a new flower bed and was going to put rubber mulch there. I thought something like that: I will save a cypress tree or two and help to recycle used tires. The price stoped me - it was much more expensive than cypress mulch. Then I red article how bad this stuff is for your garden. So what is rubber mulch - a way to pollute your garden or a way to save trees?
Maria

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 6:19PM
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countrynest(z9)

Maria, rubber will not put back into the soil any nutrients.
As you said a way to pollute.As I said before my favorite is
pine needles. No cutting of trees there.
Felix

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 8:22PM
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an_ill-mannered_ache

i have started to use a mix -- trash mulch from the utility company (free and ecologically very positive), with a layer of pine needles over the top. it's working great so far... the best of all worlds.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 9:56PM
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