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Cedar mulch is a beneficial organic compound for vegetable gardens. It has many benefits like it can hinder weeds growth, keep pests away, and helps soil to remain moist. This element finds use in any garden beds, where you want to control the temperature, retain the moisture, and stops soil erosion.
They are available in the form of chipped or shredded. Both types are durable, have a pleasant scent, and capable of preventing some pests. They are accepted as the best wood mulch for the veggie gardens. Cedars are also best to apply to flower beds and perennial plants.
Along with their benefits, they have some negative impact, if you don’t use them correctly. So, you have to take care before you start applying them.
What is Cedar Mulch?
Mulch is the organic substance and available in different types like cocoa shells, chipped or shredded wood, grass clippings, and pine needles. Gardens and beds need mulches for the healthy growth of their plants. To choose the best mulch for your soil, consider the environmental conditions, your budget, presence of pests, and soil quality.
Unlike other mulch, cedar mulch has many benefits. It prevents weed, conserve water, vanishes soil erosion, and keep away the pests. Cedar comes from the bark of the cedar tree. Cedar mulch is more beneficial for the beds that have larger plants, trees, and bushes.
The best property of cedar is that they take years to decompose completely, and this is why you don’t need to restore them frequently. Cedar mulch contains raisins that have a pleasant smell.
Can You Use Cedar Mulch For Vegetable Gardens?
If you live in the areas which are in danger of wind storms or high winds, it is better not to use mulch at all. But there is mostly breeze in your area, and then it would not be an issue to apply it. The wood mulch is better than the chips to prevent them from blowing away.
Not to mention, cedar sawdust mulch can affect newly grown plants. Avoid applying it to young plants. All the woody material used as mulch has a problem; they produce essential nitrogen when it decomposes. It doesn’t cause any problem until it stays above the soil. But after it gets mixed into the soil, the procedure of decomposition accelerates, and it spreads in the soil evenly.
Cedar mulch causes more problems in the beds that are tiled regularly, like the vegetable gardens. Cedar mulch will not straight away damages your vegetable, but it is better to use it for the plants with tiled drainage, such as asparagus and rhubarb, perennials plants.
Benefits of Using Cedar Mulch for Veggie Gardens
Cedar bark offers benefits more than wood-based mulches. It has some unique properties that make it best to grow a vegetable garden if used correctly. It has more significant effects on the crop than the organic mulches, such as dried leaves and straw. It decomposes in the soil and adds organic elements like nitrogen and nutrients in the soil. Mulches also prevent the growth of weed seeds, higher the soil temperature, and don’t let the water evaporate from the soil.
Cedar mulch also has a chemical compound called thujaplicin. This chemical inhibits fungus and bacteria production in the soil. Some of the cedar can repel beetles, cockroaches, moths, and ants.
How to Apply Cedar Mulch
This organic material is essential to apply to the plants to prevent pests and for the healthy growth of plants. Chipped or shredded cedar can serve as one of the best organic materials. They are known for their durability, fragrance, attractive appearance, and property to repel some pests. If you used them correctly, it maximizes its benefits and doesn’t harm your plants. Use the following method to apply them on the veggie gardens.
- Spread cedar mulch slackly between the rows and around vegetable plants. The layers should be wide, more than 2 to 3 inches.
- Clean back the cedar mulch, which is near more than 6 inches from the stems. The mulch can absorb moisture from the stems of vegetable plants and leave them to rot. Also, pull cedar mulch from the parts where you have planning to plant seeds or where you have sown seeds to emerge; they can repel germination of seedlings.
- Rearrange the cedar whenever you found it faded or compacted by flip or fluff up the cedar.
- Scrape up the mulch from the soil surface after you harvest your vegetables. You can reapply the mulch on the soil to cover, till you are not planting new crops. Leave mulch around the vegetables like rhubarb and asparagus.
Things You Want
- Garden fork or rake
- Cedar mulch
Things to Consider
- If you stored cedar mulch incorrectly, it may have become the victim of the anaerobic process and can have a low pH value, and this can lead to sour smell and can kill vegetables.
- If your vegetable garden comes in contact with the disease or pests more often, then they may have survived in the mulch during growing seasons. To prevent them from causing damage, either restore the mulch or heat it through composting or solarization.
When to Apply Mulch?
Deciding the time of mulching depends on what you want to achieve. Mulches are the insulation barrier between the air and the soil, and they moderate the temperature of the soil. Mulched soil in the summer acts cooler and, in winter, prevents the soil from freezing. However, mulched soil in springs warm up more slowly and in the fall cool down more slowly.
It is better to apply mulch in your vegetable garden after the soil gets warmed up in spring. Cool soils act as wet soil, which decreases the process of seed germination and increases the chance of decaying of seedlings and seed.
If you want an additional mulch layer on the soil, then wait until the soil gets warmer.
If you want to apply mulches for winters, apply them after the soil freezes, but before the cold temperature. Spread mulches before the soil freezes and can attract rodents that search for warm places before winter. So, delay in using the mulch may prevent them from keeping away from the soil.
Applying mulch helps to hinder the freezing process of soil in late winter and early spring. It also prevents the thawing of the soil, which is harmful. The repeated cycle of warming in days and freezing at night causes small rooted plants to get pulled out from the soil. Exposing their roots can get injured or die. Mulching prevents the continuous cycle of temperature fluctuation and hinders the plants from heaving.
The soil in the summers is too warm to let the plants grow without burning. The cedar mulch regulates the heat and makes the soil cooler in warm months, and this allows your vegetable garden to become healthier.
The Bottom Line
Cedar mulch proved to be beneficial if you use them accurately. Their properties help you to overcome all the problems which you may face during gardening. They keep pests and weeds away from the vegetables.
Cedar regulates the temperature of soil according to the outside weather. Plus, they enhance the beauty of your garden by spreading a pleasant scent.
100% Natural Cedar Mulch Great for Outdoors or Indoor Potted Plants