5 Mulch tips for the Pacific Northwest

  1. Do you know weeds love that covering of yummy mulch you just lined your garden with? Cover your feeding mulch or compost with a 4-6 inch layer of coarse organic mulch like wood chips to minimize weeds.
  2. Not everyone likes them, but you can get wood chips from your local arborist for free.
  3. Love to mulch with manure? Choose steer or horse over chicken. Chicken manure is loaded with phosphates which inhibit beneficial microbes.
  4. Choosing bark over wood chips for aesthetic appeal? Bark contains suberin, a waxy substance used to repel water. On the other hand, wood chips, consisting of the inner wood, is not suberized and has a greater capacity to retain moisture. Also, bark mulch often contains a multitude of weed seeds. In fact, according to Linda Chalker-Scott, PhD, “I have seen a number of landscaped sites where applied bark mulch immediately gave birth to horsetail seedlings.”
  5. Trying to eliminate weeds with geotextiles, or landscape cloth? You might want to rethink that strategy. Landscape cloth degrades in the landscape in as little as one year if unprotected from sunlight. They hasten weed colonization. The aesthetic quality is minimal as it degrades.