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California Native Plant PR

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Mad About Mulch!

I have one word for gardeners of all stripes out there: MULCH!

Mulch is the key to keeping weeds at bay, saving water and making a garden look more polished. I cannot for the life of me bear to see bare ground around plants. Empy dirt surounding shrubs and perennials is so drab.

There are many different kinds of mulch available at garden and hardware stores. Make sure you do some research into what would work best with the plants in your garden. For instance, some desert natives want an inroganic mulch that won't break down. Those plants do well with gravel.

Popular among native gardeners is "gorilla hair" mulch, which is just shredded redwood bark. It looks great, is easy to apply and most closely mimics what many of our native plants would have surrounding them in the wild.

If you can get ahold of leaves from coast live oaks trees, certain plants will have a field day.

I've noticed that cocoa mulch doesn't do well with natives and I have ethical problems with it due to the overwhelming amount of slave labor used in cocoa farming on the Ivory Coast. (Side note: best to purchase fair trade, organic chocolate to support human rights.)

So, mulch your heart out. Your plants will be much happier, weeds will start to disappear and you won't have to turn on the hose as often. Plus, it'll look prettier too!


  • The other great thing about "gorilla hair" mulch is that it tends to stick together and not blow away. I've even seen it used in parkways on very busy streets and it stays in place even with all the traffic blowing by.

    By Blogger Nate West, at 1:53 PM  

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