The Q&A Archives: Butternut Shavings For Mulch

Question: My father-in-law gave us several bags of shavings from Butternut trees. Can this be safely used on my flower and/or vegetable garden as a mulch to keep weeds down?

I plant tomatoes, vines and beans and in my flower garden I have roses, butterfly bushes, honeysuckle vine, and many different perennials.

I don't want to use anything that will harm the plants. Any information would be helpful.

Answer: Whenever you have a wood product, it benefits from being composted or aging for about a year or so prior to being applied to the garden. However, a light layer between the plants should not harm them assuming the nitrogen level in the soil is adequate. The allelopathic qualities of the related black walnut are not ascribed to butternuts.

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