Views: 1519, Replies: 15 » Jump to the end
Mar 16, 2012 12:24 PM CST
|For years I've used clean wood chips I get from a local tree service--a good mix of everything but pine and cedar which I avoided. Now, he informed me he'd be getting into some cedar work soon and asked if I wanted the chips. Does anyone have any experience using cedar mulch with lilies? What about pH--any affect?|
Mar 16, 2012 7:39 PM CST
|Is it Eastern Red cedar (our native juniper) or White cedar (our native arborvitae)? We don't have any true cedars in the Midwest.|
Actually, I wouldn't know of any detriment from either, but since you asked...
Why do you avoid pine and cedar?
Mar 17, 2012 6:39 AM CST
|Oh, I avoided them because what I get has worked very well for me (cottonwood, ash and oak). With pine and cedar, its the fear of the 'unknown'. With pine I worry about the organic solvent aspect. The various terpenes and their possible chemical bonding to micro nutrients making them unavailable for uptake?. Also, would they form chemical blockers within the lilium feeder roots? And what about microbial activity--how will that be affected? I avoided cedar because the leafs are alkaline and they can't be avoided with chipping. When I got a mixed load of cottonwood, ash, oak with cedar mixed in with it, it seemed the entire load took nearly twice as long to partially decompose when left in a pile suggesting it might have a negative affect on microbial activity. Rick, he says its white cedar.|
Mar 17, 2012 7:21 PM CST
|All that you say, Lorn, could very well be true. I just don't know. There certainly are a lot of terpenes and other resins in conifers. I never looked at it all from the point of possible negative impact on soil microbes, et al; only that those resins and lignins would be more resistant to breakdown. Most people want there mulch to last as long as possible. Good for you that you don't!|
What an interesting topic this is coming to be. I am going to post a similar question on a private list I belong to, where a professor emeritus frequents and would know the ins and outs, I think. Will post back here with the answers.
Mar 17, 2012 8:00 PM CST
|I have been putting Redwood sawdust in my yard for years. I worked in the lumber industry for over 40 years.|
Mar 19, 2012 9:18 PM CST
|One would think redwood would be "worse" than cedar, since it is far more resistant to breakdown. Our house that Dad built in Minneapolis in 1949 has untreated redwood siding. After 60 plus years, it still looks good.|
Mar 20, 2012 1:52 PM CST
|Been using it for years. The mill that I managed produced redwood compost. True we added things to the mix. Can't remember after all those by gone years what we added. I have used it straight from the hogger.|
Mar 20, 2012 8:46 PM CST
|Mike--it must decompose very slowly then, correct? Its probably the best insulator around for keeping the ground cool and moisture in. I think with mulch and compost it all boils down to what best suits a persons needs that they've learned from experience. In my situation, I depend on a summer wood chip mulch to keep roots cool and moisture in. But since I transplant, rotate and cull a lot, I need that mulch to pretty much decompose by the second and third year with slow release nitrogen in the later stages of decomposition--just in time for the next replant, etc, etc. I'm still interested in Cedar mulch for some of my more permanent lily residents in chip form only--no green. But pine is 'on hold' for now until Rick or myself can get to the bottom of the chemistry factor.|
In the 'old days' in the late 1800s-1930s, sawdust was used to keep ice from melting. Ice was sawed into blocks from the town lake in winter, then covered with piles of sawdust from the nearby sawmill. My Grandfather worked at both and they were able to keep ice until the 4th of july for their kitchen wooden ice boxes back then.
Mar 21, 2012 2:40 PM CST
|Recent years, I have only mixed it into soil for my containers. It really don't get real real cold here, some frost by a lot of fog in the morning, I do not mulch. The last few years I have been able to start Orientals by planting the seeds in June-July and leaving outside during the winter. Average germination.|
Mar 21, 2012 6:58 PM CST
|It is my understanding that Cedar has a natural anti-germination element to it. Of course, this could be good (no weed seeds germinate), or bad (neither will your in setu sowing), depending on how you garden. |
We use cedar sawdust in a line around the perimeter of our house to deter insects (which is another one of it's natural benefits).
None of this answers your question about the lily bulbs though, sorry!
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Mar 21, 2012 8:00 PM CST
|I have used shredded cedar bark from Home Depot without any problems. Now it looks like I will be using pine needles, seeing as this snowstorm took down my mugo pine tree today:|
Mar 21, 2012 8:40 PM CST
|Sorry to hear that....|
Mar 21, 2012 9:08 PM CST
|Sorry to hear about it too Connie. Looks like an old one too.|
Mar 21, 2012 9:33 PM CST
|Trish--thanks! Your absolutely right about the insect repellant qualities and as a germination retardant for weed prevention. I had heard this some time ago and you're saying the same thing just reinforces my thoughts. Thats the good part of cedar. I'm going to try some this summer around some of my more permanent resident lilies. Glad you agree with my thinking!|
Mar 21, 2012 9:46 PM CST
|Connie, this crazy goofed up weather! A nice day here for planting lily seeds but we'll have our hands full if we get a hard freeze. I'll have pics and info ready for your seeding thread in the morning--past my bed time.|
Mar 27, 2012 7:59 AM CST
|Most lily growers pack in cedar to help halt lilies from sprouting. |