Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Type of Mulch You Use Depends on What You Are Mulching

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Type of Mulch You Use Depends on What You Are Mulching

Article excerpt

Q * We are planning to put down mulch this fall for our gardens. We would like to know which mulch is better, bark or wood? Does wood mulch attract termites? Does either attract rodents?

A * Either wood or bark makes excellent mulch for trees and shrubs. Well-decayed is preferable to raw (green) wood. But beyond that it depends pretty much on what you're growing. For example, azaleas and rhododendrons prefer shredded oak or pine bark. For most other trees, a generic "wood chip" mulch is suitable. Personally, I like well-decayed shredded bark for perennials. In beds containing shade-loving woodland plants, annual bedding plants and vegetables, I prefer to mulch with leaf mulch.

Mulch piled to excessive depths is one of the most common gardening errors. Regardless of what material you choose, mulches should not exceed 2 to 3 inches in depth. At these depths they are not likely to house termites. The subterranean termites we have in this area prefer solid wood to feed and nest in, not chopped and shredded mulches. …

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