The Q&A Archives: Cedar Mulch?

Question: I was wondering what cedar chips would do to the ph of the soil if applied as a mulch under heding cedars. Do I have to do anything to counteract the effect of the mulch in order to make the soil better? We are removing an over grown hedge and replacing them with new cedar trees and don't really know what to do with the chippings from all the branches. We thought we could put them under the new row of trees. Good idea?

Answer: Generally speaking a layer of a few inches of organic mulch such as cedar chips is a good idea as it helps suppress weeds, moderates the soil temperature and helps it retain moisture. It will also help "feed" the soil as it decomposes. Cautions would be to be careful it does not touch the plants as this can invite rot. You should also be aware that the mulch can "tie up" some of the nitrogen in the soil so you may need to apply some additional nitrogen fertilizer to compensate for this during the growing season.

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