Lilies forum: Mulching Lilies?

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Name: Julia
Upstate NY (Zone 6a)
Clematis Daylilies Irises Region: New York Hummingbirder Seed Starter
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JuliaNY
May 3, 2012 6:57 AM CST
Last years lilies are progressing nicely but I noticed in one bed that I lack mulch. hmmmm, do I have a mulch thief? I'm wondering that now that most all of them have emerged, is this the time to mulch or wait till they are up further? We are getting rain each day so the plants seem to love this but also our temps have risen considerably. Can I hold off till end the month? What do all of you do?

Thanks
Julia
Upstate NY
Zone 6
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
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ge1836
May 3, 2012 7:33 AM CST
I had mulched lilies last fall and it was gone this spring.
My theory is the mulch was thin in those places and just blew away duering winter winds. I mulch with leaf compost not wood.

I cant believe mulching now would hurt the lilies.
I dont dare go into the lily areas for any reason. I "but trim" at least one or two.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
May 3, 2012 8:41 AM CST
The only reason you should not mulch now is your weather conditions. Tromping on wet soil is never a good thing, as it compacts and destroys soil structure that is more vital than fertile soil vs. non-fertile. The only other thing that might delay is if you think there might still be sprouts underground that you would accidentally step on.

Keeping the soil cool from day one is always a good thing for lilies.
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
May 3, 2012 11:30 AM CST
Well---you asked what do we all do. So, here's my 2 cents worth. I wait until the spring weather stabilizes and the soil has warmed a little and the wet spring soil has dried some. I do this as a preventive measure against botrytis or any other bacterial blights. I mulch primarily to hold soil temperatures down and for me in S/E Wisconin, that usually is first half of June. Mulching for moisture control for me is secondary but usually ends up being about two inches deep of wood chips by mid July. I mulch again in mid December after the ground has frozen an inch or two deep for frost protection and to prevent voles from invading. I usually use pine boughs with oak leaves or wood chips for winter mulch.

Liliums like cool feet but they don't like wet feet! I remove winter mulch in late March so soil drying can begin.

The choices for mulch are many. The long and short of it is-- whatever works for you---and in a sense, the same is true as to when to mulch.
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
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PollyK
May 3, 2012 12:50 PM CST
And it also depends on what type of soil you have. Since I have a well draining (to say the least) sandy soil, I mulch heavily year round. I use straw.
Name: Julia
Upstate NY (Zone 6a)
Clematis Daylilies Irises Region: New York Hummingbirder Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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JuliaNY
May 4, 2012 7:20 AM CST
Thanks for all the input. I'll hold off till the weather stabilizes.

Julia
Upstate NY
Zone 6

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