Shredded wood mulch

March 11, 2009
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Categories: Bulb Information, Growing Daffodils, Planting, Soil

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Keith, I read with interest your posting about using shredded wood mulch on daffodil plantings. I have frequently used commercial shredded mulch with no problem. One year, however, I had a lot of shreddings from fallen branches around the yard here and I mulched a bed with that. Lost every daffodil in the bed in one year.
I usually use that shredded wood to line paths around the plantation, and that’s all I’ll ever use it for again.
I’m guessing it either sucked all the nitrogen out of that soil or made it too hot for the bulbs. (didn’t get many weeds there after that either! For a couple of years anyway.)
Bill Lee in Cincinnati, where the daffodils are beginning to grow and the pseudonarcissus are actually showing buds! At last winter may be over.

3 responses to “Shredded wood mulch”

  1. Michael and Lisa Kuduk, Kentucky Michael and Lisa Kuduk says:

    Bill, did you use shredded walnut per chance?  We have a lot of black walnut trees down here, and apparently the tree makes some sort of toxin which deters all neighboring plant growth. If you see black walnut trees around here on fence lines, you seldom if ever see any honeysuckle within the tree’s drip line.

     

    Thanks to all who responded to my earlier post. I ended up sprinkling a little bone meal on the beds (hard to burn foliage with organics, esp. low nitrogen ones), and waiting for rain, which didn’t come. I’ll be out with the garden hose in the AM.

     

    Mike Kuduk

    Winchester, KY

     


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  2. Bill Lee says:


    In a message dated 3/11/2009 2:02:10 PM Eastern Standard Time,  title= writes:

    Bill, did you use shredded walnut per chance?  We have a lot of black walnut trees down here, and apparently the tree makes some sort of toxin which deters all neighboring plant growth. If you see black walnut trees around here on fence lines, you seldom if ever see any honeysuckle within the tree’s drip line.

    ===>Mike, there probably was some black walnut in the shreddings since we have them all around. But it wouldn’t have been a significant part I don’t think. I did learn many years ago that daffodils planted around a black walnut don’t live very long. Most of them anyway. I had an exception or two that lived on but never increased much.

    Thanks to all who responded to my earlier post. I ended up sprinkling a little bone meal on the beds (hard to burn foliage with organics, esp. low nitrogen ones), and waiting for rain, which didn’t come. I’ll be out with the garden hose in the AM.

    ===>Conventional wisdom is that modern bone meal is so processed that it has little nutritive value. A 5-15-15 might have been better, or 6-12-12, whatever has a low first number (the nitrogen component). The bone meal advice hangs on from long ago when bone meal really was bone meal!

    Bill Lee

  3. Jacki Huber says:

    I am a reader of most of your responses, but not too often a contributor to the Daffnet.  I have used shredded wood on my daffodil beds, and flower beds for 19 years at this location.  I live in St. Louis with a south oriented East/West street from the river.  The mulch comes from Uniontown in the southern part of MO.  And, it is finely shredded and comes from a hard wood veneer factory there.  My problem comes from the fact that bulbs left in place tend to dig themselves down deeper in the soil.  Thus, I get foliage but less blooms.  When I periodically dig them up to replant ( If I have had success with them in competition) they are at least 10-12″ or more down in the ground.  When I asked David Burdick about this issue, he pointed out that daff bulbs have a root that will burrow the bulbs down.  (My paraphrasing)  I do not add N to these beds but sometimes in the early spring I will broadcast super K pellets across the lawn, beds, etc.
     
    My comments about the shredded mulch – are they consistent with you, the experts, would reason, or they off base?
     
    Jacki Huber
    Greater St. Louis Daffodil Club
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