Tuesday, April 04, 2006

CEDAR CHIPS AS A MULCH?

I have done a little research on Cedar Mulch. The question came up in my ILEAD class a few weeks ago. Someone in the class wanted to know how it stacked up as a mulch. After all, it doesn’t break down too readily. I wasn’t really sure.
As I thought about it over the next few days, I thought, you know, we have a Cedar closet. We put clothes in there that are being stored over the long term. The reason we put it in cedar is because we don’t want moths, etc. to get into them. So, that’s good right?
But look at the other side of that equation. Some bugs are very beneficial. We don’t want to discourage them, do we?
Another thought is that one of the best things about mulch is that it breaks down adding good stuff to the soil. Cedar is used as shingles and siding on houses because it DOESN’T break down. So, what does THAT tell us?
Then some folks have alleged that cedar adds harmful chemicals to the soil. A test has been done testing that theory. It was found that there was NO significant change in the soil chemistry. So throw that thought out.
Anyway, Cedar mulch will look good for a long time, because it LASTS a long time. This is a good AND a bad thing.
It discourages some bugs.
This is a good AND a bad thing.
Chemically it doesn’t change the soil chemistry…including ph. This is a good AND a bad thing.
So there you have it. USE YOUR OWN GOOD JUDGEMENT. What is it you want? Do you want to change your mulch less frequently? Maybe cedar mulch would be good for you.
Are you a gardener who wants the mulch to break down adding good stuff to the soil? Maybe cedar mulch would NOT be good for you.
Do you want to discourage little bugs in the mulch. (I don't know the implications for worms. That's a whole other subject. I didn't see anything addressing that issue.)
Do you want to adjust your ph level? Don’t count on cedar mulch to do it for you!
So, what have we learned here? Again, use you own judgment!
Sorry I wasn’t more help!

3 Comments:

At April 13, 2006, Anonymous Joyce said...

Sorry - I originally posted this in the wrong area.

I live in Phoenix, AZ and am trying to find an answer to this question:
Will scorpions (bark scorpion, etc) live in cedar bark/chips/mulch?
I have an area between my home structure and a property dividing wall that I put about 6" of cedar. Nothing grows in this area and the cedar looks good and smells good.
Now I am wondering if I created a breeding ground for scorpions?
I have contacted 4 local exterminators and they do not have an answer. HELP!!!!!
Thanks,
Joyce

 
At April 14, 2006, Blogger North Country Maturing Gardener said...

Joyce, I did a little research and have come up with two web-sites that should prove helpful. They are:
[Arid_gardener] Re: Scorpions in wood chip mulch
AND

Scorpions (DesertUSA)

Remember I'm not familiar with desert creatures, so I can't be more helpful. I'm surprised the exterminators don't know more.
Also, try contacting your Univ. Of Arizona Extension Service. They should be of tremendous help!
Hope this helps some.

 
At April 21, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A man at Home Depot, who has a degree in Horticulture told me the other day that Cedar Mulch was the best thing to use because it holds the moisture in the soil for a longer period of time.If you are wanting to nourish the plants/flowers, then use fertilizer first, water, then lay the mulch down. Another good thing about Cedar is it smells so darn good :) Only bad thing for me personally is I am allergic to trees, including Cedar lol. I'm still going to use it though.

 

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