There are many benefits of mulching that you are probably already aware of if you maintain a garden or flower bed.
But what about bark mulch? And what about cedar bark mulch in particular? Bark mulch provides benefits such as protecting tree roots, suppressing weeds and adding essential nutrients to the soil so plants can grow and flourish. Cedar mulch — also known as cedar bark mulch — is a very popular type of bark mulch because of the benefits it provides.
Cedar bark mulch provides all the benefits of other bark mulches, plus a few extras of its own. Cedar bark mulch helps to moderate soil temperatures and cedar bark mulch has a very pleasing fragrance that other bark mulches don’t have. Whether you’re looking to protect your plants from harmful insects or have an attractive backyard, cedar bark mulch can provide you with the benefits you seek. The following article from GardenGuides.com highlights the common benefits of cedar bark mulch for gardening or for landscaping in general.
Cedar Mulch Benefits
Although many gardeners believe cedar mulch delays or prevents plant growth, studies at Washington State University show that, unlike the black walnut (Juglans nigra), cedar mulches do not harm plants. Quite the opposite: Cedar mulches benefit gardens in multiple ways, and are often superior to other types of mulch.
Cedar mulch, like other wood mulches, creates a barrier slowing soil moisture loss. By keeping the moisture where plants can use it, cedar mulch improves plant growth and vegetable or fruit production. Many plants suffer from wildly swinging soil moisture; for example, tomatoes crack and show signs of rot. Other plants drop buds or young fruit when the soil dries. Cedar mulch also cuts down on your water bill, since it slows evaporation and stretches the time between watering.
The fibrous structure of cedar mulch interlocks, preventing sunlight from reaching weed seeds and deterring weeds from sprouting. The interlocking mulch also stays in place during windy or wet weather and cuts down on erosion. The result is a neater, more attractive garden and reduced work for the gardener. Cedar’s naturally slow decomposition rate allows it to remain attractive longer than other wood mulches.
Cedar mulches keep the underlying soil relatively cool, even on triple-digit temperature days. A study by the Colorado State University Extension comparing various natural and artificial mulches showed cedar mulch kept soil temperatures at an even 85 degrees F, even when the ambient temperature was 104 degrees F. The plant’s leaf temperature was 98 degrees F, the coolest of the mulches tested. Insulating plant roots from temperature extremes keeps the plant healthy, reduces wilting or leaf scorch and prevents winter freeze-thaw cycles from heaving up bulbs and roots.
Cedar oil repels various ant species along with other insects. According to the group Texans for Alternative Pesticides, the evaporating oil even acts as an ant mound fumigant on hot days. It may also repel roaches, slugs and snails. However, some cedar mulches do not contain enough cedar oil to produce these results. Check the label to make sure the manufacturer has not stripped the oil from the mulch.
Cedar bark mulch is a bark mulch that will provide you with long-lasting benefits and beautiful, healthy plants and flowers. Since cedar bark mulch shreds — rather than breaking up into chips like other bark mulches — it is less easily blown away by wind or washed away by rain than other bark mulches. Cedar bark mulch has a light reddish appearance that certainly adds a touch of beauty to your landscape design. For your New England garden or flower bed, cedar bark mulch is an excellent choice to keep your plants healthy and your landscape beautiful.