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I've Got Homemade Cypress Mulch. Should I use it with veggies  RSS feed

 
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We had a terrible ice storm here in Oklahoma this winter that destroyed my bald cypress tree. I had to remove the tree, but I had the tree crew mulch it up and leave it yard. I don't ever want to just throw something that the earth gives me like that into the landfill, but I've heard it isn't good to use with vegetable garden. I have two no till raised beds and am considering using the mulch in them but have heard it's no good for vegetables. What are your thoughts. Should I use it elsewhere?

Thanks
Steve
 
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Yes you can use it but probably not yet, it will need to rot down a lot more most likely. When it gets to a loose fibrous more dirt like substance, you can use. This may take a few years yet.

The reason why is wood will cause a nitrogen deficiency until it breaks down, from which point it will swing back the other way. If you want to use it more quickly, spread it about as a mulch on perennial territory and nature will do the job.

If you want to speed up the rotting mix it with dirt, but that's a lot of work.

You did good not throwing it away, the worst thing you could do. Never throw out plant matter, its the gardens fuel, in any form.
 
gardener
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When you do go to use the mulch, acidity may be just as important as nitrogen levels. Potatoes, blueberries and many other things, like acid conditions. Alkaline soil can benefit greatly.
 
Stephen Houser
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I think I'm going to just bite the bullet and use it. It's got a lot of leaves mixed in with it and had been sitting since October. I turned it today and it is very black and crumbly.

Here goes nothing
 
Philip Hyndman
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Give it a whirl Merl. Id dig it in a bit though, to speed up the rot. That's not very long for it to be sitting there really.
 
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Personally I think people worry about mulch too much. I think you can put just about any plant material on the soil and it won't hurt anything. If you're worried about it "stealing" nitrogen, put a thin layer of manure or grass clippings down first. I wouldn't dig it in, personally, I would just put it on top.
 
Stephen Houser
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You can't beat free, which it is!
 
Dale Hodgins
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Oh yes, you can definitely beat free. I get paid to take away most materials that I use as mulch, firewood and building materials. 😎
 
pollinator
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I buy Cypress mulch to use around strawberries. It works great. It doesn't breakdown very fast, so it keeps the berries clean. I don't think slugs like it as much as they do straw. It also has a neater appearance. A lot of my berries are grown on my deck in Earth Boxes. I haven't had any nitrogen deficiency.
 
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