The Q&A Archives: Mulching Bulbs

Question: We just finished planting spring bulbs for the very first time (we are having an unseasonably warm March). Should we have mulched the garden where we planted the bulbs or does mulching make it difficult for the sprouts to find their way to the surface? If so, to what depth should we place the mulch and is cedar mulch OK? Thank you!

Answer: I would suggest using a layer of two to three inches of mulch year round in the garden. It helps feed the soil slowly over time as it breaks down, it reduces erosion, and it keeps down weeds. Cedar is not a bad mulch however it breaks down very slowly and is thus less beneficial to the soil. For a flower bed you might consider a smaller particled mulch such as half finished compost, rotted down autumn leaves, shredded bark, or pine fines. You can also use a mix of mulches.

At this time of year, keeping weeds down can be a main goal. However, with summer bulbs, you may want to pull aside the mulch temporarily to allow the sun to warm up the soil faster. It is somewhat a matter of personal preference. Enjoy your summer bulbs!

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