James282
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Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Mulching when you want things to spread?

Hey all - I have some newly planted Dianthus, Ice Plant, and Bee Balm that I would like to spread throughout the areas in which they are planted. Should I mulch these areas to keep down weeds, or will that keep the plants from spreading as well? I know some plants spread via roots, which seems like wouldnt be affected by mulch...but I figured this would be a useful question to ask as I think others might wonder the same thing!

Thanks!

James

bullthistle
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Location: North Carolina

Generally perennials spread by rhizomes or stolons or by self seeding and the mulch should not interefere unless it is too heavy. The dianthus should be divided in the fall by digging it up and separating the roots, the same as bee balm but in the spring and ice plant spreads by rhizomes which can be transplanted in the spring. Go to learn about propagating.

https://propagatingperennials.blogspot.com

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

spreading plants

Some things like strawberries and tiarella (foamflower) spread by above ground runners and can be slowed down by mulch, if the runners have a hard time finding anything to root into. The things (like the bee balm and dianthus) that spread by underground roots are not slowed down by having mulch over them. When they do put up new stems the stems can come up through the mulch (unless maybe there's 6 dense inches of it or it's impenetrable like weed barrier cloth).

James282
Cool Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Wow, I get great answers for the question I asked and one I didn't ask...I just mulched some strawberries with pine needles and I was worried that this might prevent them from sending out runners. I can't seem to get birds to stop eating the strawberries anyway, so maybe that won't be that big a deal :P

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

strawberries

If the pine needles aren't too deep and they are loose not compacted the runners should be able to find their way down to the soil. I put wire hoops at front, back, and middle of my strawberry patch then covered it with bird netting (aka deer netting) and staked it down all around. Works great. Without it I would never get a single strawberry. You can get the netting at any garden store, in a big roll.



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