The Q&A Archives: Which Is The Best Mulch To Use On Perennial Beds??

Question: Hi, I want to purchase some mulch to use on my perennial beds (roses, daylilies, a few flowering shrubs, etc.) and don't know which type is best. I have seen both cedar and cypress for sale locally. Which of these is preferred, or is there another type of wood that would be best? If so, which would be a second choice between the cedar and cypress?

Thanks so much!

Answer: Cedar and cypress are both fine mulches. A woodier mulch tends to temporarily tie up nitrogen in the soil, so you may need to add a little to compensate for that effect. My personal preference in a perennial bed or mixed border is double shredded hardwood bark; the texture is a bit finer and the bark does not tie up the nitrogen the way woodier mulches will. Any natural mulch will do the job and will also help feed the soil over time as it breaks down. Sometimes local avalability is the determining factor along with relative cost. When you mulch, make sure you place it around but not touching the plants.

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