Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:41 pm
Location: southeast

Another Question About Mulch

I have been reading the different posts on mulch and don't want to be redundant. But, I have a little bit of a different question.

My husband and I recently dug up about 2/3 of the sod in our front yard, covered the empty spaces with more dirt, and are now planning on planting trees and shrubs. We thought we would put down mulch to cover the dirt for now, and then just move it around as we plant our trees and shrubs.

I have read the comments about the free mulch from the local tree guys, and we have actually put in a few phone calls to see about having mulch dropped off here. But, we have also been looking at purchasing shredded oak mulch from a landscape materials company. If we are willing to pay for the oak mulch, is it worth it to get that versus the free mulch, chipped by the tree guys? Free is always good, but we want to do what would be best the first time around.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. (This is only the first of many questions we'll be posting. Hopefully, one day, we'll be able to provide advice as well.)

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

The only caveat I have, personally, is to make sure that the tree guys aren't delivering shredded walnut mulch. Walnut contains juglone, which is toxic to other plants (walnut is allelopathic, which basically means that it doesn't like competition).

Other than that, is the size of chip the tree guys are offering suitable for your use? Would it be a problem for you to separate the mulch from the dirt when you decide to move it?

If separation is a problem, maybe landscape cloth would be more friendly to you. It can be held down with "staples" and will allow water to permeate, so the worms, etc., in the soil can survive.

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

(and I use the fill-your-own-bucket mulch provided by my city)

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:26 am
Location: North Carolina

That's true about the walnut mulch but it all depends on the size chipper they both use. You might want to look at the mulch before you order it. Either way for the oak you may have to add some lime and extra nitrgogen in the spring because wood chips take nitrogen out of the soil.

Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:41 pm
Location: southeast

Thanks for the information. We've not heard from any of the local tree companies, so, unless they are in the neighborhood sometime soon, we will probably end up with the oak mulch, after all.

More questions will be coming.

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