Mulch

Hi--Merry Christmas!!
What name of mulch do you use for your flowers? Everyone says to mulch--roses, perennials, annuals, etc. But please give me the name of the one you use and like the best! Thanks
Linda
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wrote:

I use different things. I have a chipper/shredder so that makes a lot of wood chips and ground up leaves (I have about 200 trees). For the rose garden, I use composted cow manure ("Black Kow" in a yellow bag.) For my azalea garden, I use pine needles collected from the pine woods. I use home-made compost for annuals, clematis, hydrangeas, and peonies. All mulches I use decompose.
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the
A mulch is any material applied to the surface of the soil to moderate temperature swings, conserve water or retard weed development. It can be organic (shredded leaves, compost, bark, pine straw) or inorganic (gravel, lava rocks). Unless you are doing alpine or rock gardening, you will most likely want to stick with organic mulches. What is favored tends to depend on what is commonly used in your area or what you have available, like your own (or collected) shredded leaves or compost. Bark or wood chips tend to be better for woody plants, finer textured and less woody products like leaves or compost tend to be more suited for perennials, annuals or food crops.
Personally, I use a commercial compost simply because it is readily available in large quantities relatively inexpensively and provides needed organic matter to the soil. I apply it liberally twice a year in late fall/early winter and in midspring. Avoid piling it over the crowns of plants and keep it away from trunks or woody stems to avoid rot and creatures burrowing in it and nibbling on tender growth.
pam - gardengal
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I would definitely second the use of high quality compost. Here in the Midatlantic region 'Pogo's Compost' is causing quite a sensation-- the man is a Maestro of Mulch. http://www.pogoscompost.com /
Dave

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leaves
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Linda wrote:

not knowing alot myself, i was told to choose according to the type of soil, zone, and exactly what kind of flowers will be planted. good luck.
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Cedar mulch lasts the longest around here and since we have very alkaline soil, benefits greatly by the decomposition of it on top of the soil. Cedars are native to the area so this mulch is everywhere for free, at the landfill they give it out. For vegetables I prefer alfalfa hay as it keeps the soil really cool and I can pile it up deep for very little money.
If you want to get technical, fungal based mulch is best for trees and shrubs and bacterial based mulch is best for perennials.
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escape wrote:

What the hell is fungal based mulch? What the hell is bacterial based mulch?
--
Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8b
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These terms are typically used in reference to compost specifically but can be extrapolated to include other organic mulches as well. Compost that is high in greens or animal manures tend to be more highly populated with beneficial bacterial organisms than those with higher woody content, which tend to be more fungal populated in nature. Therefore, finished compost or composted manures tend to be better for perennials, annuals and vegetable crops and woody mulches (bark, pine straw, wood chips) tend to be better for trees and shrubs.
pam - gardengal
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Pam - gardengal wrote:

Thanks Pam. I always learn something from you.
I just mulched most of my backyard with free wood chips from a tree service. First I killed the grass (not lawn) with RoundUp and then applied the chips. My intent is to have the water (rain and supplemental) go mostly to my bamboo's, trees and shrubs and not the grass. For the most part the chips are 3 inches deep. I hope for more chips so I can cover the whole yard.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8b
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opined:

Actually, you learned it from me, but didn't look it up and Pam told you what it was. Roundup can kill trees and shrubs. I hope you didn't get any on them.
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escape wrote:

I Googled "fungal mulch" and didn't see anything.
I know how to use RoundUp.
--
Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8b
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On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 21:22:15 GMT, "Travis"

So you don't the difference between mulch and compost?
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Travis wrote:

Travis- If those are hardwood chips. and a wild guess would say at least part of them are, then I wish you the best.
Take a look at some of these search results for artillery fungus, also known as shotgun fungus.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&q=artillery+fungus&spell=1
You may decide to re-think your yard.
The last time I dug deep into this, maybe a year ago, there was still nothing that would clean the spores from your house, your car, your lawn furniture, etc.
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