I recently had to have a large tree cut down on my property and I asked the company that took it down for me to leave all of the mulch created when they ground up the limbs so that I could use it on a new garden I'm putting in my backyard. The garden is going to consist of perrenials and trees/shrubs. I'm getting different opinions from many people about how safe this mulch is to use. I have been told I should never use any mulch less than 2 years old, I've been told it's not a problem to use it at all, and I've been told it's alright to use it, but it's very acidic and should only be used on acid loving plants. Who is right? I'm going to be planting several shrubs this weekend and would like to use this mulch. Am I going to kill my new plants if I do that? Thanks.
fresh mulch- score!
It's great to have access to mulch that's been sitting around for a couple years but believe me, I have slung hundreds of yards of fresh mulch (in my yard, in the city parks, at the Arboretum) around plants that hasn't created a stir. I have my own opinions about wether they may or may not spread disease, but it won't make the soil too acidic. Keep the mulch away from the crown of the plant, so it is not touching it. The main goal is to keep the roots cool (and eventually add nutrients). If by the small chance your plants don't seem to be having the same gung ho, give them a slow release fertilizer in the spring to help them along. Happy planting!
Thanks for the info, Katy. I have a friend that's going to give me slow release fertilizer spikes to put in as I plant the shrubs, so they should be happy.