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Compost on top of mulch

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by BMonterotti, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. BMonterotti

    BMonterotti LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Amateur question here: I need to put some fresh compost down on roadside flower beds at the end of a driveway and I am unsure if I need to remove the existing mulch from the beds before doing so. The surrounding ground is somewhat rocky and as a result, plants have not been growing as expected. Adding compost seems to be the next logical step to take, I just am unsure if it can be put on top of somewhat coarse mulch, or if the mulch should first be removed.
    Side note: the beds are currently empty and nothing will be planted in them until next spring.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,964

    Nothing in the garden--why?
    Chrysanthemums look nice all during September and October.
    And then its a great time to plant tulip bulbs--and especially daffodil (deer will not eat the daffs.)
    Yes, remove the old mulch. Do a soil test. Correct soil acidity level. Improve irrigation. Fertilize according to soil test. Apply "Snapshot" or another pre-emergent for weeds in spring.
    If it is a shade problem--reduce shade or use shade adapted plants.
     
  3. No gloves

    No gloves LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    some people like to throw manure on a plant site a couple months before gardening.never heard it done a month or so before planting until recently but will probably give it a go to prep soil
     
  4. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 23,915

    What do you guys think about tilling in the mulch into the soil since it needs improvement?
     
  5. CHARLES CUE

    CHARLES CUE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,064

    great idea seen some gardeners that use something like a garden weasel , I mean what is compost just the mulch decomposed more
     
    knox gsl likes this.
  6. No gloves

    No gloves LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    I've read that mulch robs the soil of nitrogen and that it's recommended to throw some fertilizer under new mulch so not sure how tilling it in would go.when I plant new plants in mulch beds,mulch always seems to get into dug hole and I just leave it.i assume it's not a problem.
     
  7. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 23,915

    My thought was to use the mulch to improve soil structure.
     
  8. No gloves

    No gloves LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    yes,I would have thought it would also but if it's robbing the soil of nitrogen then I would think not.most of the mulch in this area is the big chunk ones from big box stores.the finer mulches are much more expensive but much better.i think from recommendations I've read for this area are manure and a fine mulch.i think overtime the decomposition of mulch and adding manure over top helps.i throw all my deadheaded flowers and trimmings I'm my ornamental beds to help.dont know if it does but I think it does along with water.my drip ornamental beds compared to my pop up ornamental beds are drastically different.the pop ups area are much more healthier.i continually see a nicer soil and worms in my pop up sprinkler beds compared to drip.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    BMonterotti

    BMonterotti LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Would you do this in the fall, or wait until spring?
     
  10. OP
    OP
    BMonterotti

    BMonterotti LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Unfortunately, the beds are empty because everything that was planted in spring died early in the year. Hence, the need to modify the beds. The beds are in full sun and I believe I previously stated that the ground is pretty rocky.
     

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