Organic mulch types can include soil amendments.
Broken down by categories, this page starts with those that are solely weed control methods.
The second category discusses additives used to amend garden soil, many of which also cross-over as effective garden mulch.
This first list is of natural weed killer options that are easy to apply.
1) Cedar Mulch
Cedar mulch is preferred over other shredded bark chips.
Hay is comprised of legumes (Alfalfa, Red Clover) and grasses (Timothy). The two types of hay are:
- Adds nutrients as it
3) Hulls and Shells - Cocoa Bean Mulch
This includes peanut shells, buckwheat hulls, cocoa bean shells, rice hulls, oat husks and more. If you reside in rural area these can be found at local mills.
- Shells are removed during the roasting process.
- Weed seed free.
- Longer lasting, gets darker in time rather than lighter.
- Works especially well around woody shrubs and plants,
- Can attract some insects, as with other organic
- Apply about 1". Spray down with water to create
an interlocking structure.
- Light mold at times, as with many organic mulch options.
- Can promote diarrhea and vomiting if excessive
amount consumed by dogs.
4) Leaf Mould / Leaf Mold
Comprised of dry, dead leaves from shrubs and trees. Use the whole leaves of fall as winter mulch rather than placing at the curb for pick-up in the fall. When spring comes it can take some time to rake off.
Technically Leaf mould is considered a compost soil amendment. It is better used only as a mulch. This because breakdown of leaves is...
5) Pine Bark Nuggets
Pine bark nuggets is the composted bark from Pine tree. Use only as mulch.
6) Peat Moss
There is Peat Moss and Sphagnun Peat Moss. Recommended use as mulch only. Regular moss is..
Sphagnun Peat Moss is..
7) Pine Needle Mulch
This is one of the mulch types that termites seem to favor.
8) Redwood Mulch
The significant difference with redwood mulch is its resistance to termite damage. Overall it is one of the many types of mulch that is insect repellant.
Redwood mulch hardly removes any nitrogen. The nitrogen that is removed is only from the soil surface, not deep within. If anything is adds more soil nutrients.
To be used as mulch, sawdust must be 'finished'. This means wait a year before applying. Finished sawdust has a sweet smell, non-finished smells like ammonia.
10) Shredded Bark Mulch
Shredded bark mulches are made from the outer layer of trees, dried, then shredded. These are different bark mulches and can be more bulky than those already listed - Cedar mulch and Pine Bark nuggets.
All listed Bark Mulches (Cedar, Pine and Shredded) should all be placed approximately one foot away from your home. This is done to deter insects from nesting close to dwelling.
If you can't locate some of these, try tree trimming services and landscaping centers.
Cypress mulch is popular because it is known to be insect resistant.
Straw is made of wheat, oats, rye and barley. Because only the stem and leaves of the grains are used there are fewer weed seeds than Hay, if any.
Before applying types of mulch understanding different
weed killing methods helps.
Mulch types can also include using a soil amendment for both natural weed control while additives to soil increase nutrient value.
There are pro's and con's when using to amend garden soil.
1) Animal Manure
It is very common to use manure as fertilizer and mulch. Cow and horse manure are more often used.
Regardless of type, it is recommended
to age at least six months until it is
well rotted because of ammonia.
Raw manure can also burn roots
and change soil growth levels.
Young vegetation can also be
scorched above soil line if manure
is not aged.
Even better is to heat manure when composting. This way any weed seeds that were consumed by animal are killed.
It is recommend asking questions depending on manure type and where you get it. Handling can be different from farm sources and others. Aging times can vary.
Gaining in popularity, Coir is made from the pith of a coconut shell which is located between the nut and shell. When removed it is dehydrated.
Coir has been used for years making floor mats and other daily living objects. It is considered a much better alternative over peat moss mulches.
Any plant material that is thoroughly rotted, including kitchen scraps. Learning to compost is easy but there are a few rules to learn.
4) Corn Gluten Meal - Organic Weed Killer has more info on Corn Gluten.
5) Cover Crops - See Green Manure below
6) Grass Clippings
Grass clippings are abundant for us with mowing. It can take some time to master the art of application. Too thick of an application and no air gets through to bottom. If air doesn't get through cuttings will rot and begin to get slimy and smell.
7) Green Manure
Made of Alfalfa, Red Clover, Lupine, Crown Vetch and more.
8) Ground Cover Plants
Ground covers compete with weeds, ultimately smothering weeds out.
9) Mushroom Mulch
This is a combined mixture of mushrooms, horse manure, peat and chalk. Called 'Mushroom Mulch' because it is made by various commercial mushroom industries.
10) Seaweed Mulch
Seaweed mulch including Kelp. Seaweed mulch has many organic compounds and is nutrient rich.
1) Use these kitchen scraps in garden:
2) Use these as manure mulch types:
3) Charcoal Barbecue or Coal Ashes
4) Treated Wood Products
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