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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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question about mulch Toplef10question about mulch 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

question about mulch I22gcj10question about mulch 14dhcg10

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question about mulch

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OhioGardener
stevenfstein
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Post  stevenfstein 5/20/2021, 9:26 pm

will be using Scotts Nature Scapes Classic Black Bark Color-Enhanced Mulch in the flower garden and maybe also in the vegetable garden. Question I have - after the growing season is over, do you mix it into the mix, remove it and start over the next year or just push out of the way, plant new and then push back and top off.


Much appreciated.... Steve
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Post  OhioGardener 5/20/2021, 10:00 pm

I would not use colored bark for mulch on a vegetable garden, but would prefer to use a compostable mulch such as compost, straw, leaf mold, etc.. Then, at the end of the season I can just add some compost to the bed. If you choose to use colored bark for mulch, you will probably want to remove it either in the fall or next spring so that you can refresh the bed with compost.

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Post  jimmy cee 5/20/2021, 10:44 pm

I used wood chips and compost for mulching..work out nicely for I had lots of compost....question about mulch Fri_ju10
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Post  yolos 5/20/2021, 11:24 pm

I use wheat straw as a mulch.  It is not decomposed at the beginning of the next season so I just pull it back (or take it off and put it temporarily in a  trash can) and plant my seeds.  After the seeds germinate and get a little taller, then I add the wheat straw back between the plants.
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Post  neefer 5/25/2021, 12:36 am

I use I-forget-the-brand soil amendment or mulch from Lowes.  My visual examination says they are the same thing.  

We double dig our raised beds every year because of tree roots, so the mulch gets turned with everything else.  Then when I'm planting, I add more mulch on top.  

In the rest of the garden, I have heavy clay, so I am constantly adding a top layer of mulch.  I have improved my soil, but it is a constant battle.
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Post  jimmy cee 5/25/2021, 10:21 pm

@neefer wrote:I use I-forget-the-brand soil amendment or mulch from Lowes.  My visual examination says they are the same thing.  

We double dig our raised beds every year because of tree roots, so the mulch gets turned with everything else.  Then when I'm planting, I add more mulch on top.  

In the rest of the garden, I have heavy clay, so I am constantly adding a top layer of mulch.  I have improved my soil, but it is a constant battle.
This is what my neighbors tree roots made me do...and gladly so...question about mulch Bed_4_15
question about mulch Bed_4_14
question about mulch Bed_4_13
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Post  markqz 5/26/2021, 1:29 pm

All New Square Foot Gardening wrote:In much of the country, mulching a Square Foot Garden is not necessary. Normally, mulching is done to minimize weeds and keep the soil moist, and the nature of Mel’s Mix means neither issue is much of a problem in most regions.
Then there is this :
In Mel's own words wrote:However, whenever I use wood chips in a Square Foot Garden, I always put down a barrier first because wood chips can pull nitrogen from the soil as they decompose, and your plants aren’t going to be happy about that.
So the preferred answer appears to be to keep the mulch separated from the mix, but maybe save it for next year's compost.

In my case, though I live in a area that could benefit from mulching, I feel the bugs use the mulch as a place to hide out. Anyone else find this to be the case?
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Post  OhioGardener 5/26/2021, 4:49 pm

@markqz wrote:In my case, though I live in a area that could benefit from mulching, I feel the bugs use the mulch as a place to hide out. Anyone else find this to be the case?

In my area, probably due to the high humidity, mulch tends to attract sow bugs, which do a lot of damag especially to young plants. I usually put Sluggo Plus down on the bed before applying the mulch. As the sow bugs arrive, the Sluggo Plus eliminates them.  Note: Almost all pest-related sites say that sow bugs only eat decomposing organic matter, but in reality they eat the leaves off of young plants and they chew on the tops of radish, beet, or carrot roots that are above the soil line.

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Post  jimmy cee 5/26/2021, 10:16 pm


In my area, probably due to the high humidity, mulch tends to attract sow bugs, which do a lot of damag especially to young plants. I usually put Sluggo Plus down on the bed before applying the mulch. As the sow bugs arrive, the Sluggo Plus eliminates them.  Note: Almost all pest-related sites say that sow bugs only eat decomposing organic matter, but in reality they eat the leaves off of young plants and they chew on the tops of radish, beet, or carrot roots that are above the soil line.
A small plate of beer ( or maybe even water )  set into level with the mix  will drown them.
I got rid of hundreds in this manner in my previous beds.
I do have photo's however they aren't available at the moment.
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