Ask a Question forum: Which 1st - mulch or compost

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North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Jul 31, 2017 11:50 AM CST
I've got a garden bed (or 2) that could handle being refreshed. I have both compost and mulch. Does it matter which I spread first? I'm thinking that it doesn't, but I also wouldn't trust that answer. Next thought is to put down the compost and then the mulch. And whichever way I go, seems like I should water first.

Since we're having a relatively cool spell, (and also because I'll have a worker here anyway) seems like it would be a good time to get this done. Ok. It's never done. But y'all know that.

In case it matters, the largest bed has native perennials: sages/salvias, milkweed, asters, a lonely chili pequin, a few irises, a daylily or 5, bronze fennel, rue, lantana. and I don't remember what all. Would also like to squeeze in a few little annuals.

While we're on the subject, I also have some Turk's caps in various stages. Not concerned with my 15 year old one, but spread around the yard I have a 1 year old, two year old and a 3 year old. Assuming I don't run out of goodies, do they even need compost and/or mulch?

Thanks for opinions and advice.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 31, 2017 12:00 PM CST
tx - I've heard compost first, then mulch. Maybe water after compost but before mulch?
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Jul 31, 2017 3:57 PM CST
So you and I are thinking alike as far as compost first and then mulch. Cool. Thanks.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 31, 2017 4:15 PM CST
I agree Absolutely put down the compost first, water it in, then put down your mulch on top. You want the organic material from the compost to work its way down into the soil.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pepper23
Jul 31, 2017 7:46 PM CST
I agree with the others. The only time I don't do that method is when I'm doing my veggie bed. I have been known to put mulch down, then compost then more mulch.

First layer of mulch: Help keep weeds out
Compost: Feed
Mulch: Make sure the darned weeds stay out. This is the first year in a couple years I haven't done it and I've got crabgrass coming up everywhere.

Again this is just my veggie bed. Do just compost and then mulch for other areas. Green Grin!

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