Planting Panies in Mulch

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by clallen03, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. clallen03

    clallen03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 511

    Has anyone successfully done this?

    I though I read somewhere that someone planted directly in mulch. I may have been mistaken but I wanted to see if anyone else has heard this.

  2. flascaper

    flascaper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 107

    Planting in mulch does not provide a good media for rooting or water retention. Your plants will not do well since mulch has no heavy elements to provide the NPK plants need not to mention the root system will be very week as they want to anchor down to wards the ground. Also plants need wet and dry cycles to grow . In dry times the roots go deeper to find water and creates a stronger root system. Mulch does insulate to help hold water in on a soil base only.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    Mulch can be quite different from one area to another, in my experience. So I guess it depends on what your "mulch" is like.

    Where I live, "mulch" or garden mulch, as it's better known, is fairly large clumps of garden compost (old branches, grass clippings, leaves, etc.) that have composted for a few years and then gone through a tub grinder and sifter. It's thick and heavy. Not really great for planting annuals in.

    But I was down doing a job in Phoenix, AZ lately and the "mulch" product they had down there was quite nice! it was almost as fine and fluffy soft as peat moss. I could see where annuals could potentially do well in that stuff.

    But what Pansies really like is a good planting mix with lots of organic material but also airy and also something that helps hold in moisture. It's a little atypical, but really one of the best things is potting soil. Now, you'd normally use potting soil only for plants in pots. But I find that it's one of the best things for small annuals like Pansies. They seem to love it. If I don't have any potting soil, I'll usually take some planting compost and add a whole bunch of peat moss and perlite to it. What I end up with is basically homemade potting soil. But they love this kind of stuff.

    I think making it airy is really important. They have tiny hair-like roots and they can't poke through hard soil very easily. But they will thrive if they have something fluffy and airy to spread their roots into.

    A good fertilizer mixed into the soil makes a big difference too!

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