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Old 03-25-2009, 09:53 AM   #5
A Bee's Best Friend
Gloria's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chicago Illinois USA

I'm still learning but it seems to me that shredded wood mulches of any kind are often mis-used. So many people like that neat finish a shredded wood will give the greatly spaced newly planted garden and I understand that. But a wood mulch does not seem appropriate except around trees and shrubs and then only at the outer edges away from the base of the plants.
In a class at tree keepers here in Chicago the presenter discussed how tree debris encouraged a fungal/ more acidic atmosphere in the soil, where herbacious plant debris encouraged a more bacterial /alkaline dominated soil.
Hence the decaying mounds of shredded wood around trees where roots grow into the moisture absorbing mulch and the bark is protected from machinery.
But roots of herbacious plants need to spread out and down deep into the soil.
Many insects live in that soil and can not penetrate the woody mulches. This may seem like a good idea but the beneficial insects will be effected as well.
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