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Types of Mulch for Cedar Hedges

Cedar hedges such as “Feelin’ Blue” deodar cedar (Cedrus deodara “Feelin’ Blue”) or Dwarf Western red cedar (Thuja plicata “Pygmaea”) are used as privacy hedges, boundaries or hairstyle which stay green year-round. Most cedar shrubs develop in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8 and have similar growing requirements. Mulching isn’t required, but it is helpful to the tree.

Why Mulch

Mulch isn’t only for making your landscaping more attractive. Mulching is very important to cedars, particularly in their first years, to prevent winter root dry-out which can lead to needle browning, loss or tree departure. A layer of mulch helps soil retain moisture in drier weather. It also helps keep soil temperature more even, with cooler summer temperatures along with extra protection from winter. It also reduces weed growth and prevents mower damage to shrubs because the mower remains outside the mulch area away in the bushes.

How to Use Mulch

It’s best to keep mulch layers between 2 and 2 1/2 inches thick. Too much mulch can suffocate the main system. Too small mulch will not provide any of the benefits mulching gives plants. When spreading mulch, care must be taken to keep the mulch from touching the foundation of the cedar. At least a 3-inch mulch-free zone round the base of each tree will keep the wood from rotting due to lack of atmosphere. Any amendments should be added to the soil before laying the mulch. Course textured mulches such as bark are perfect for cedar hedges.

Organic Mulch

Organic mulch decomposes, releasing nutrients into the soil. Cedar hedges like slightly acidic soil, so if your soil is alkaline employing an acidic mulch would help lower pH. Sphagnum peat moss or pine needles are demanding organic mulches which will help acidify soil as they decompose. Bark chunks or wood chips are demanding mulches which will not affect soil pH if your soil is currently at a good level. Organic mulches need to be replaced annual in most cases.

Inorganic Mulch

Inorganic mulches are longer-lasting than organic mulch since they don’t decompose. Eventually they will need touching up since they get displaced or sink in the ground. Rubber mulch comes in several colors and is often used where people will be walking or playing. In case your cedar hedge boundaries a yard with busy kids, rubber mulch might be a good selection. Pebbles also come in many colors, but a larger size pebble or gravel should be used with cedar hedges. If you don’t have to add nutrients to your soil with decomposing mulch, inorganic mulches are a good choice.

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