What is in the Mulch??

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by KurtisInIowa, May 25, 2005.

  1. KurtisInIowa

    KurtisInIowa LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    So far, so good in my first season as a solo landscape/tree guy. I'm pleasantly surprised so far with work I am generating. I invested in a chipper and it does indeed make very nice mulch. I am wondering what the issues are with mulch as far as diseases and weed seeds, etc. I want to learn what potential pitfalls there are in any given batch of brush I chip and then give back to the homeowner for use as mulch, or even by taking it with me and selling/giving it to other customers???
  2. polecat63

    polecat63 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,655

    Wood chips and mulch are two very different things. A good quality mulch will be mostly shredded bark. The wood chips wood be more suceptable to bugs, IMHO, sinch the wood is what there after, not the bark.

    The chances that you would have problems with disease is extremely rare, prolly about the same as regular mulch. The only problems you will have is that they tie up nitrogen during decomposition causing nutrient deficiencies, particularly for herbaceous plants. They can also change the Ph level of soil since the Ph in the chips can be as low as 4.

    Weeds wouldn't be any more of a problem than regular mulch, unless you're grinding them up along with the wood.
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Go for it,but let it sit a year or so 1st.
  4. nocutting

    nocutting LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 530

    Howdy, winter wood chips are better as they are free of all the leaf debris......Chips from Maple trees can sometimes transmit "Verticillium Wilt" to tomatoes- its virtually the same disease for both plants......... :rolleyes: While raw wood chips arent a preferred mulch, it can be used none the less.....on larger properties we always leave the chips piled up outa the way to use / or let the Gardener use, at his discresion.......
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,207

    We have a Vermeer 6" chipper that makes a nice size "mulch" but it don't really work well in beds. As pointed out it takes a very long time to break down and ties up nitrogen in process.

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