What kind of mulch should I use? - Knowledgebase Question

Jefferson, No
Question by stonebridge3
April 24, 2010
I have a semi shaded rock garden at 4,100' in the mountains of NC. Crocosmia, Baptisia, & Platycodon grandiflorus thrive in these conditions. Many other plants have died. I get yellow leaves, leggy and scraggly growth and few blooms. The soil tested acidic. I have been adding lime. I use shredded Cypress mulch. Is this hurting the soil? What kind of mulch do you think in best?


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Answer from NGA
April 24, 2010

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Lime applications will help mellow acidic soil but you don't want to overdo. Lime can take several months to begin working so now that you have applied lime, wait a few months and then test your soil again. There really is not a lot of difference between organic mulch materials other than their appearance and longevity. All will help suppress weeds, slow water evaporation and help moderate soil temperatures and as they decompose they will provide nutrients to the roots of your plants. The larger the pieces of mulch, the longer it will take for them to decompose. Cypress is probably the longest lasting of all because it decomposes at a slower rate than pine bark or pine straw. Hope this information sheds some light on the subject.

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