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Organic Mulches

Mulches made from plant material are organic mulches. Over time, organic mulches will decompose and become part of the soil. This is a great advantage, because this decomposition adds organic matter to your soil, helping the soil to better retain water and nutrients and resulting in healthier plants.  Contact Nolasco-Inc. at 954-772-7394 or 954-974-0512 to discuss the mulch that is right for you.

bulletBark. Bark mulches are usually made from the by-products of pine, cypress, or hardwood logs. Shredded bark and bark chunks are the most common forms.  Bark mulches resist compaction, will not blow away, are very attractive, and are readily available. Some shredded barks, such as cypress, decompose slowly. Bark chunks (also called nuggets or decorative bark) decompose slowest but tend to wash away.
bulletWood chips. Wood chips are made from many different kinds of trees. Wood chips make excellent mulch that resists compaction, stays in place, and weathers to an attractive silvery-gray color.  Beware of mulches that have not been properly aged or composted. Mulch that has not been aged can be toxic to plants due to the formation of organic acids during the decomposition process, and, if placed too close to tender stems, will harm or kill plants. Purchasing mulch from a reputable dealer who has monitored the decomposition process to achieve a high quality, aged product will help to ensure that your valuable plants will not be harmed.
bulletSawdust. Sawdust is often readily available and may be helpful in acidifying the soil around rhododendrons and other acid-loving plants. Sawdust is a poor choice in most situations, however, as weed seeds easily sprout in the mulch.  Sawdust also tends to cake, making it harder for water to soak into the ground. Sawdust is low in nitrogen, so it robs nitrogen from the soil as it decomposes. Therefore, more nitrogen fertilizer may be needed.
bulletStraw. Straw makes a good winter mulch or mulch for the vegetable garden. It is inexpensive, suppresses weeds, conserves moisture, and insulates well.  Unfortunately, straw is not very attractive, may contain crop seeds, and is extremely flammable. It is important to purchase "straw" rather than "hay," as hay contains many weed seeds. Mulch 6 to 8 inches deep.
bulletPine straw. Pine needles are attractive, decompose slowly, resist compaction, and are easy to work with. They are often available commercially or are free if you have pine trees on your property.
bulletShredded leaves. Leaves that have been shredded with a composting mower are sometimes used as summer mulch. Whole leaves can be used instead, but they tend to matt together and block water movement into the soil.
bulletNewspaper. Three layers of newspaper can effectively keep down weeds, especially in the vegetable garden. To keep the paper from blowing away, weight it down using another mulch or other means. Shredded newspaper also works well.


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Copyright 2002 Professional Quality Tree Service; Nolasco-Inc.
Last modified: January 13, 2003