My old landscaper told me that adding mulch around my bushes would
kill the bushes. Is this correct? After five years I need to add more
soil to the area where my bushes are (near my patio) as the rain has
washed a good amount of it away. Should I just add soil and forget
about the mulch?
Hard to evaluate this claim without knowing what he had in mind. Too
thick a layer of mulch can be a problem, as the roots get buried (for
example, 12 inches a year, every year, is too much). And there are
differing schools of thought about mulches. But there's nothing about
mulching that it can only be done when the plant is first planted.
If the roots are being exposed, then you should definitely cover them.
Either soil or mulch would work but I'd lean towards some kind of
organic matter (composted leaves, shredded pine bark for acid loving
plants like azaleas, maybe hardwood mulch for alkaline loving plants
depending on your current soil pH), to improve the structure and
fertility of the soil. Or a mixture of soil and organic matter.
Some kind of short retaining wall (for example, a row of bricks or
cinder blocks or whatever), or some such measure, may prevent the new
soil from washing away like the old did.
How about posting some nice, clear digital pictures, including some closeups
at a site like www.photobucket.com ? It's free. Then, post the links here so
we can check out the pictures. In addition, you could have prints made and
take them to a real garden center and ask them. Your landscaper made a
statement which MAY be true for some plants, but certainly not for all of
Any plants will benefit from an organic mulch. Protects roots,
conserves water, supplies nutrients. I guess it's possible to kill a
plant using too much mulch, using a mulch that can not breathe or
using a mulch that contains harmful chemicals.
Improper Mulching can hurt and injure your woody shrubs-
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/M/ Look up "Mulch"
So can improper pruning. Improper Pruning
John A. Keslick, Jr.
Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology.
Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us
that we are not the boss.
Dunno, can't see the history and cause of the soil erosion from here.
"Mulch" has 3 definitions.
I would, without looking at it, and assuming the erosion cause has been
corrected: add the appropriate amount of topsoil and dress with some highly
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