the primary function of mulch is moisture retention.
while mulch might increase the germination time for
the weed seed residing in the soil it does nothing
to retard or stop the germination of the weed seed
contained within the mulch.
on several different landscaping jobs located in
different neighborhoods the flower beds all produced
the same variety of uninvited weeds. the common
denominator was the mulch. I tested my suspicion by
placing some of the mulch on the soil in a test bed
here at the testing plot. nine days later the very
same weeds were sprouting. the mulch producing this
problem was a Scotts product of shredded hardwood.
mulch depth required to provide substantial moisture
retention should be no thinner than 3 inches.
landscaping cloth can be semi useful in providing
somewhat of a barrier for the weed seed contained
within the soil.
in my years of installing and maintaining flower beds
I've yet to see imported weed seed contained in pine
bark or pine straw. unfortunately pine straw is out
of vogue with the trendy urbanite.
Was it ever in vogue with said trendy urbanite? Sites like:
say things like "Managing for pine straw is a relatively new
enterprise in Florida's pine forests." so I kind of got the impression
it is on the increase.
I've been going with pine bark mulch for my acid-loving plants,
because that seems to be what is readily available around here. But I
might try the pine straw if I had a local source. The web hits mostly
seemed to be from south of here (where here = Washington, DC), though.
On Sun, 9 Sep 2007 11:11:28 -0500, "readandpostrosie"
The mulch in my garden isn't very thick (maybe an inch or so) and it
has beaten back weeds so far. I just push it aside to stick a plant
here and there. I think landscaping cloth is better used under gravel
in places where you have no intention of ever planting, but weeds may
appear anyway - like greenhouse floors and driveways.
History is a vast early warning system
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