bark dusting my garden beds

Asked July 17, 2014, 11:37 AM EDT

I plan to have medium hemlock bark dust blown into my garden beds. Should the bark dust be spread up to the trunks of the trees and shrubs, or should a circle be left around these primary shoots? Is 2 inches a good depth to prevent weeds and hold in moisture?

Clackamas County Oregon mulch

1 Response

Mulch should be no thicker than three inches in depth and kept away from the base of tree trunks, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. At this point, you can break apart the mulch with a hard rake, remove any excess mulch, and spread in areas that may need it. Wood and bark decompose over time and bacteria and fungi are involved in this process.

Mulch helps conserve moisture, moderates soil temperatures, and keeps weeds down. Over time the mulch decomposes into organic matter and you will have to replenish from time to time. It is up to you if you want to replace the mulch. For more information see publication on mulches http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/426/426-724/426-724.html