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Does cedar mulch kill plants and shrubs???



 
 
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  #1  
Old 30-08-2006, 02:52 AM
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Oct 2005
Posts: 353
Question Does cedar mulch kill plants and shrubs???

i have read so many things that say that cedar mulch slowly kills plants
and shrubs by leeching the nitrogen and nutrients out of the soil.
i was wondering what anyones opinion would be on this as i had thought
of using cedar mulch around my spireas, hostas and a lot of other things
that i am hopefully going to get planted this fall and now im am wondering
if i would be better off not adding it to the beds .
any input would be greatly appreciated. i dont want to make a huge
mistake .
thanks again, sockiescat.
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  #2  
Old 30-08-2006, 02:50 PM posted to rec.gardens
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Posts: 5
Default Does cedar mulch kill plants and shrubs???

sockiescat wrote:
i have read so many things that say that cedar mulch slowly kills plants
and shrubs by leeching the nitrogen and nutrients out of the soil.
i was wondering what anyones opinion would be on this as i had thought
of using cedar mulch around my spireas, hostas and a lot of other
things
that i am hopefully going to get planted this fall and now im am
wondering
if i would be better off not adding it to the beds .
any input would be greatly appreciated. i dont want to make a huge
mistake .
thanks again, sockiescat.


First, check on whether hostas etc want acid or neutral or basic
9alkaline) soils. I'm not going to do the search for you: use Google.
You will learn how to use that amazing resources, and information you
find for yourself tends to stick better than information someone else
has found for you. Beware! Googling can become a hobby in itself -- even
an addiction. :-)

Having said that, I'll give you some information anyway. Consistent I am
not. :-) Who was it said "Consistency is the bugaboo of small minds"?

Cedar mulch acidifies the soil, so it can be bad for most of the plants
we grow in our gardens, which prefer neutral or even slightly alkaline
soils. However, slightly acid soils won't harm them, so mixing cedar
cuttings into the mulch won't hurt. If you're worried about the
acidifying effect, add some agricultural limestone to the mix, or
sprinkle some on top of the mulch.

However, cedar and other evergreen mulches are good for rhododendrons,
for example, and of course for any evergreen tree or shrubs, all of
which prefer acid soils. Hydrangeas tolerate both acid and basic soils;
in fact, they produce different coloured flowers depending on pH (the
measure of acidity/alkalinity.)

NB that acid fertilisers are available, they're usually marked "for
evergreens" or some such. Read the label.

You should have a soil analysis done on your garden, so you have a
general idea of what kind of soil(s) you have. Kits for home use are
available, and in some states and provinces the local agricultural
support agencies will do an analysis for free or a nominal cost. You
could also google on "soil types".

HTH
  #3  
Old 30-08-2006, 08:05 PM posted to rec.gardens
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 30
Default Does cedar mulch kill plants and shrubs???

i have read so many things that say that cedar mulch slowly kills plants

and shrubs by leeching the nitrogen and nutrients out of the soil.


There is no need at all to worry about this. ALL mulch sucks up some
nitrogen in the decaying process, but in good soil it's not enough to
concern yourself with. And once the mulch does break down, it actually
provides more nitrogen, so the only real concern would be when you
first put mulch onto new soil. I've never had a bit of a problem.

I would advise - as always - to not let mulch come into direct contact
with stalks or trunks of plants. Mulch is moist, and so can be a vector
for fungal diseases if it comes directly into contact with plants.

  #4  
Old 31-08-2006, 12:13 AM
Registered User
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Oct 2005
Posts: 353
Smile

Wolf Kirchmeir sockiescat wrote:
i have read so many things that say that cedar mulch slowly kills plants
and shrubs by leeching the nitrogen and nutrients out of the soil.
i was wondering what anyones opinion would be on this as i had thought
of using cedar mulch around my spireas, hostas and a lot of other
things
that i am hopefully going to get planted this fall and now im am
wondering
if i would be better off not adding it to the beds .
any input would be greatly appreciated. i dont want to make a huge
mistake .
thanks again, sockiescat.


First, check on whether hostas etc want acid or neutral or basic
9alkaline) soils. I'm not going to do the search for you: use Google.
You will learn how to use that amazing resources, and information you
find for yourself tends to stick better than information someone else
has found for you. Beware! Googling can become a hobby in itself -- even
an addiction. :-)

Having said that, I'll give you some information anyway. Consistent I am
not. :-) Who was it said "Consistency is the bugaboo of small minds"?

Cedar mulch acidifies the soil, so it can be bad for most of the plants
we grow in our gardens, which prefer neutral or even slightly alkaline
soils. However, slightly acid soils won't harm them, so mixing cedar
cuttings into the mulch won't hurt. If you're worried about the
acidifying effect, add some agricultural limestone to the mix, or
sprinkle some on top of the mulch.

However, cedar and other evergreen mulches are good for rhododendrons,
for example, and of course for any evergreen tree or shrubs, all of
which prefer acid soils. Hydrangeas tolerate both acid and basic soils;
in fact, they produce different coloured flowers depending on pH (the
measure of acidity/alkalinity.)

NB that acid fertilisers are available, they're usually marked "for
evergreens" or some such. Read the label.

You should have a soil analysis done on your garden, so you have a
general idea of what kind of soil(s) you have. Kits for home use are
available, and in some states and provinces the local agricultural
support agencies will do an analysis for free or a nominal cost. You
could also google on "soil types".

HTH

thanks for the information wolf u answered what i needed to know as to whether it would harm the plants or not so i will look for another way to add a mulch but will also mix the cedar into whatever else i use as a top dressing and include some lime as well.
i did look on google thats where i got the information that i included here some people said that it was bad and others said it was okay so it was rather confusing which way to go and at the cost of some of my plants i sure didnt want to be making any stupid mistakes and end up losing them .
so thanks again for your input and yup i will get a soil sample kit also and see whats there and whats not . cyaaaaa, sockiescat.
  #5  
Old 31-08-2006, 05:23 PM
Registered User
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Oct 2005
Posts: 353
Smile

thanks for your posting as well sparky. i did a google search on the hostas as wolf mentioned and it looks like i will be able to use both yours and wolfs ideas to help me with putting a good mulch around my plants and shrubs and yup i will remember to not let it come into contact with the stems and trunks .
thanks again to both of you for your help its greatly appreciated. cyaaaa, sockiescat
 




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