old bark mulch

jspeachyn5September 14, 2008

I have a question.

I have about 3 wheelbarrow loads, of old "large pieces" of some type of bark mulch. I don't remember what kind it was.

I am pulling it all off the old beds this week.

Question is what do I do w/it?

1. Should I put it under "or" over carboard in the pobbom of new flower beds I'm making?

2. Should I just start a new compost pile and put it on the bottom of that?

3. Start filling in a low ares I'm going to have load of top soil brought in for?

It has hardly broken down at all in the 4 years it has been here. I holds too much moisture at the top and smells if we get too much rain.

It is just one thin layer over the beds. Just enough to cover the soil. I want to put a fine ground up layer of mulch over the compost I will put over the new beds. So in hopes the water will drain down into the bed instead of collect and smell. I really doesn't pool or anything just stays wet.

Any ideas would be great.

For now I have started piling it on a tarp.

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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Can you use it somewhere else like around shrubs or trees. Since you say it smells and you've had lots of problems, I wouldn't use it in your prime flower beds. When I buy topsoil it is always sticky clay. People don't want to sell their good topsoil, so what you get is from low ground around streams. Botany Shop in Joplin mixes in small pine bark chips to make a lighter mix. If you are not sure this is pine or fir bark though I wouldn't mix it in. Rotting wood takes nitrogen from the soil as it decays.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 5:33PM
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Maybe you have another spot in your yard that has good air circulation and is sunnier so the mulch will dry out more quickly. Was the bed shady where you were using it before?

Except for this spring, everything in my yard dries out quicker than I want it to whether it's in the sun or shade. My parents have trouble with the north side of their house staying too wet but we have a garage on the north so not much room for plants there.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 9:57AM
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Most of these beds were on the south side of house area. one had no shade at all. they were all raised beds so normally would drain well, but soil moist w/mulch on top. w/o it would dry out.
I really don't think it has to do w/shade. I think it is just some weird bark?? mulch that holds too much moisture it's self.
was hoping if I bury it under the cardboard and then do my lasagna over that, in the new bed. It might decompose.
I know it takes nitrogen from the soil but under all the stuff I really don't see the roots getting down that deep?? Not sure.
I had moved it around so that it was maybe one piece of mulch deep you could see the dirt in spots if it rained and I didn't go out and rearrange it.
If I spread it out over the area, the dump trucks are going to fill in. Maybe it won't be so bad. that should be from 2-3 feet deep.
I don't have any trees that are far enough away from the house that I would not have to smell it, that need any mulch.
I don't know.
Make me wish I was on a farm. We always had some place that needed to be filled in.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 2:17PM
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If I were in doubt, I would just put it on the bottom of a compost pile. The shredded trees that the utility company left me a few years ago all broke down nicely, but it took a few years to do.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 2:26PM
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