Cedar mulch in vegetable garden?

Asked June 5, 2013, 8:53 PM EDT

Is there any problem with using cedar mulch in a vegetable garden (tomatoes, peppers, Swiss chard, herbs) to keep weeds down? Thanks!

Ingham County Michigan

1 Response

There isn't any problem with using cedar mulch in the garden for weed suppression. Below are a couple of links that cover the various advantages, pros/cons of different types of mulches and application rates.

A couple of things to note - if you plan on using landscape fabric under the mulch, remember that over time as the mulch biodegrades a new "soil" layer will form on top of the weed cloth allowing weed seeds to take root on top of the mulch. You might try using sheets of cardboard under the mulch or overlapping layers (4-8 sheets) of black & white newspaper. Over time these products will biodegrade along with the mulch and can be tilled in or a new layer of paper/cardboard and mulch can be placed on top.
Another thing to remember is that mulch is good used in aisles and generally around plants but should not be mounded around or touching the vegetable plants. This may lead to more insect problems with the plants. Hope that helps!

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/select_the_right_vegetable_garden_mulch

http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/factsheets/tp_05_mulchbasics.html