Mulch Vs Ground Cover

Filed Under: Insects, Insects, Weeds · Keywords: Garden, Mulch, Insects, Weeds, Hi, About, Shade, Sun, Ground Cover, Plant · 818 Views
Spring is finally here and ready prepare garden beds for spring. I ordered bulk mulch two years ago and found it riddled with insects and weeds. Buying bagged mulch is difficult around here. No one will deliver and I need at least sixty bags!! I am thinking about switching to ground over for under rhododendron and laurel portion of property that sees part shade and sun? Any suggestions of ground cover that is easy to plant , and will mimic the benefits of mulch?

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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi ali-I'm suprised none of your local quality nurseries will deliver bagged weed free mulches unless there are none near by. One of the best mulches for rhodedendrons is pine needles also called pine straw. They are weed free and make an excellent mulch for acid loving trees and shrubs. Pine straw will also control any growth of weeds that may already be in the area. The pine straw is also attractive to many and will keep soil moist at the same time allow air and water to penetrate easily. When purchasing mulches in bulk you should inquire as to whether it is weed free. Ask how long it has been composted if at all. Most proper composting that will rid material of weed seeds will take approximately one year. You might also contact your city maintenance department. Many cities now only acquire their mulching material from companies that are certified meeting cerification standards when producing weed free muches and forage. It sounds as though you have quite a large area to cover. Many low growing shrubs and groundcover plants can be used to hold moisture and insulate the soil also but most likely will be a lot more expensive to cover a large area. Ground cover plants will also take more care, watering, fertilization, and possible control to keep within bounds. I noted some groundcover plants that would work well with the rhododendrons as they will grow in the same conditions having close to the same requirements as most rhododendrons. Just click on the links below to go directly to the plant files. Most of these plants will take both some sun and shade but you will need to check their sun and shade requirements that are noted as you mentioned some areas get more sun or shade than others.



Creeping Jenny

Blue Star Creeper



Bishops weed

Hopefully this will help. I you could give us your city and state there may be some members that may know where you can purchase some quality mulching products.


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