The Q&A Archives: Wood Shavings as Mulch

Question: I was given a bunch of wood shavings and I used some in my Iris bed to keep down weeds. Can this mulch stay on or does it have to be removed and fresh put on in Spring? Also, can it be used as a Winter mulch over plantings of phlox?

Answer: Using wood shavings in your flower beds is a good way to stop soil erosion, suppress weeds, and help moderate soil temperatures. You can leave the shavings on the iris bed until it completely decomposes. By that time it will be time to dig and divide your irises so you can simply incorporate the organic matter into the soil before replanting your iris rhizomes. At that time you can reapply wood chips as a mulch. You can also use the wood shavings around your phlox.

Best wishes with your garden!

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