Mulching Your Garden Plants Is Perfect For Them Except If You Get Some Toxic Mulch

By Teb Molombo

Mulching, at present, is becoming popular, because of the benefits it brings to the plants and soil in your garden beds. In certain areas of the country it comes with a word of caution, though. The reason being that in these places a waste product maded by sawmills, hardwood bark, is shredded and employed to make a mulch which has become commonly used. Logs are usually debarked before being cut, and the mills used to be faced with the problem of getting rid of the bark.

Using the bark to make mulch was a handy solution for the lumber yards, but it's not perfect. The lumber mills pile the bark up high to avoid wasting space, and with little demand for the mulch in winter the piles get really high. The project is completed with front end loaders that, when driven up on top of the piles of bark, excessively compress the waste, resulting in a problem for the gardener. The bark substance won't decompose unless it's provided with oxygen, and time, which is achieved by air passing through it. The heat range of the rotting bark, when it's so compacted that airflow is constrained, can get very high, and there's even the danger that it could catch alight.

Considering that the ensuing gas can't be released through airflow, the mulch can actually be contaminated and become toxic. Rooting into the mulch and spreading it releases a terrible stink and also poses a danger to your plants. The pent-up gas within the mulch is emitted, which can burn your plants. Spreading this product around your plants could cause them to turn brown in as little as few minutes. When you happen to get a mulch heap like this and it gets dumped on your yard it could turn the grass brown. Unfortunately you will only know that the mulch was toxic when you discover the undesirable "browning of the green."

Both good and bad mulch contain powerful, though different, smells when you dig into them, but not everybody can tell the difference. It might be somewhat darker in color, so if you suspect a problem, take a couple of shovels full, and put them around your least important plant, and see what happens. Make certain that you take mulch from within the pile, and never on the edges. If after one day your plant continues to be fine, then the mulch is probably okay.

While it isn't the end of the world, this sort of problem is rather prevented than experienced. Imagine placing mulch around your plants with the best of motives, only to discover they had been burned. Avoid toxic mulch by getting from a place you have confidence in and who can give you some type of guarantee or assurance - you do, after all, want to get the benefits of mulching.

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