Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2003 2:22 pm Posts: 45 Location: Flower Mound
I am starting a new flower bed that is really going to be mostly ajuga and moneywort ground cover. There will be a couple of hostas and some autumn ferns. My question is this. Should I mulch all the area around the ground cover? The reason I ask is because I was wondering if the mulch will prevent the moneywort from spreading, since it has to touch the ground in order to take root. Any suggestions are welcome. thank you. Ann
The good thing about mulch is that it breaks down and turns into soil after a year or so. How fast do these plants grow (what size, etc.?) You might mulch lightly closer to the spreading plants. I would guess that coming into contact with a thin layer of mulch will be similar enough to contact with soil that it won't be a problem.
Choose your mulch carefully. If you have chips from woody plants on your property, that's perfect (but most of us don't have chippers for those various limbs that we end up with). Howard recommends hardwood mulch (versus cypress mulch) because it breaks down after a year. The cypress mulch takes longer and is a bit less a dynamic player in the garden.
Avoid the "colored" wood chips. Those are simply wooden pallets (yes, the kind that shippers load up with boxed goods for transport) that have reached the end of their useful life. If they would just chip them and stop there it might not be so bad (though some of them may be treated with pest or preservative chemicals, so there is some mystery wood in there) but they then add the various designer colors to the slurry of chips and sell them as red or green or blue or whatever. I don't know what the dye is, but until I hear anything about it, I'd avoid those products.
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