Is it too early to mulch?

diannelmtMarch 17, 2010

I'm in zone six, south central Pennsylvania. I want to start mulching now because I have chickweed and purslane and they've already taken over. These beds haven't been mulched in years and I have absolulty no much, or leaf litter or anything right now.

Someone told me that if I mulch now, that my dormant plants won't come up? Is that true? I can see most of my plants starting to emerge, I can put mulch around them. I was only going to do about 3 inches or so. Will mulch really supress my plants?

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marlingardener

Mulch doesn't suppress established plants, only seedlings. If you have planted annual seeds, don't mulch over them. Otherwise, put about 4" to 6" of mulch on the beds, leaving a open circle around your emerging plants. Mulch not only helps keep weeds down, it keeps the moisture in the soil. More mulch=less watering!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 3:41PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It will to the extent that the mulch would keep the soil colder, longer, which would have some small effect on how soon they would begin growing in earnest ...... and I suppose it would slightly shorten the length of the active part of the growth cycle, but it wouldn't be anything major.

Al

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 3:43PM
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diannelmt

I didn't think it would have much of a dramatic impact on anything. I like mulching this time of year because I don't have to go around the plants. I spoke with a landscaper yesterday and he said that mulching now, especially for weed control would be fine.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 6:57AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

I usually apply my mulch in the fall and have not seen any problem with soil warming up in the spring because of that. Mulches can keep seeds from germinating which is one of the reasons why we mulch, to suppress "weed" growth. The crocus and daffodils are popping up through the mulches right now and the primrose are blossoming and the For Get Me Nots are starting to poke up through the mulch with no problem. I'm not seeing much else but it is pretty early yet.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 12:03PM
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diannelmt

I'm thinking that I will have to mulch in the fall as well to keep this chickweed at bay.

I plan on accumulating grass clippings and leaves to use as fall mulch.

I just got started mulching today! Its a lot of mulch and I've got a lot of ground to cover!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 7:36PM
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