The Q&A Archives: Ever Hear Of Sour Mulch?

Question: I Spread 15 yds of pine bark mulch on my plantings and alot of the leaves turned white. Where the mulch dropped on the lawn, turned the grass white. The extension service said it was sour mulch,that heat built up in the pile and made a gas
To water it. How long will this gas last and will the plants survive?

Answer: I would certainly agree with the extension comments. Hot or sour mulch does emit gas damaging to plants. The gas will dissipate in a few days as the mulch is aired out. With luck, your plants will recover especially if the mulch was not placed in contact with the leaves or stems. Keeping your plants well watered (especially in this dry season we are having) will certainly help them grow more vigorously and potentially recover more quickly. I'm sorry about the mulch.

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