anitasues
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Location: Springfield, MA

To Mulch or not to Mulch

:lol: HI everyone!! I just moved into my boyfriends house and needless to say the house needs a ton of landscaping work ! I live in Spfld, MA and I think I am zone 5 but anyways there was this nice area by the side door and had a rose bush and some flowers in it. The flowers are attacked by weeds and the weeds just took right over. Today I weeded the whole thing out and I would like to plant some hardy flowers or bulbs there and I was wondering if I put down mulch would prevent them from coming through to grow, maybe block the sun so that they don't grow?? thanks

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tomf
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Location: Oregon

They will grow through it if it is not way to thick.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I second... or is that third :lol: ... mulch.

Spring bulbs will push up most mulches, and if they can't push the mulch up, they'll keep trying until they find a way. During the summer last year, I put down some granite cobble stones as decoration and stepping stones in my flower bed. This spring, I had exhausted tulips and daffodils growing from the side of the cobblestone, so I picked it up. They had grown up directly UNDER the stone, grew sideways (very pale under the stone) then found daylight. :bouncey: :o I found myself apologizing to those flowers, "Oh my goodness! I'm SO SORRY! I totally forgot you were there!" :lol:

In another spot, I'd cardboarded and mulched around some shrubs, forgetting that there were some springs bulbs there. One day in spring, I was coming home, and found myself saying "What IS that?" ...They had LIFTED UP the cardboard. :shock: Yep. Mulch will be NOOO problem. :lol:

With perennials, it's a good idea to mulch lightly for now, then heavily once the ground freezes, then move aside some of the mulch in spring after things start to thaw. So make sure to put a GOOD MARKER in the spot. Another way to know where your perennials are supposed to come back up is to NOT cut down the last seasons growth until spring just before or just as new shoots start to grow. :wink:

Oh yeah. Putting down cardboard or several layers (4~5) of newspaper or newspring/craft shipping paper first is a good way to smother and prevent perennial weeds from re-emerging next spring. You can cut X's in the paper to plant bulbs and plants or plant then lay the paper around them and mulch on top. Put down any soil amendments (I usually spread a layer of compost) and make sure to water well before papering and mulching. For bulbs, I add some Compost+Rock Phosphate (some people use Bonemeal or BulbTone) in the bottom of each hole and mix with soil before dropping the bulb in. 8)

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tomf
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applestar wrote: I found myself apologizing to those flowers, "Oh my goodness! I'm SO SORRY! I totally forgot you were there!" :lol:
Only a true gardner would do that. :lol:

Yes you 3rd for mulch.

bullthistle
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Hope no one was near you when you spoke to the bulbs applestar.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

bullthistle wrote:Hope no one was near you when you spoke to the bulbs applestar.
:lol: I think my neighbors are getting used to my strangeness (what with the after-dark forays with a flashlight when slugs are in season and all.... Yep, my one neighbor caught me at it... he thought I was a prowler LMFAO)
... but I'm sandwiched between neighbors who talk, sing, and whistle a tune to their cat and another neighbor who baby-talks to her puppy, so I think we're pretty much even. :wink:

cynthia_h
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The neighbors who've seen me (two or three in Berkeley and the next-door owner here) on Snail Hunts have thought I was gathering fish bait. They said, "Caught anything?"

"Yeah, a few!"

I just didn't specify "a few" of what. :lol:

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

bullthistle
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Location: North Carolina

Unfortunately I don't live around gardeners but one night I walked across the bridge that spans my creek to the compost pile and I caught a heron by surprise, he was fishing as I learned when my cat brought some into the house, and he surprised me as well because he couldn't get out of there fast enough and as some may know they aren't graceful when they take off. nutz:

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