Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wood mulch vs. bark mulch

This week Menards has wood mulch on sale (half off after mail-in rebate, limit 80 bags per household - I purchased 30). I have used this before. Even though it looks weird compared to bark mulch, it does a good job of smothering grass and weeds, plus does not break down as fast as bark. The bag says "100% recycled", so I am guessing it is made from pallets. Not exactly wonderful stuff, but better than shredded tires.

Several of my flower beds are so densely planted that there is no room for mulch, which is the ideal as far as I am concerned. Elsewhere, I need help, at least until I get the right plants and the beds fill in. That is where the wood mulch comes in. By buying it now, it will be on hand when I need it, plus bags are easier to handle than bulk. (I'm getting old.)

In a separate category of mulch, I hope to get a local tree service company to part with some of their wood chips for use in the incipient orchard. According to The Holistic Orchard (by Michael Phillips), ramial wood chips are best for feeding the fungi duff and keeping trees healthy. Even though I purchased a shredder/chipper, I don't have many twiggy branches to process. Again, I need help.

In the past, I have used grass clippings for mulch, but this has been problematic. For one thing, sometimes I treat my lawn with weed killer (I know, bad, bad, bad), and don't want to use those clippings, especially in the vegetable garden. In dry years, when I need the mulch the most, there are few clippings to be had. Also, leaving the clippings on the lawn helps feed it (I have a mulching lawn mower), limiting the need for weed 'n' feed.

Do you mulch, and if so, what do you use and where do you get it?

1 comment:

Jason said...

My favorite is pine bark mulch. I like the way it looks, and it lets the water percolate through. It does break down pretty fast, though.