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Mulch 101 – Types of Garden Mulch

There are many types of mulch sometimes called landscape mulch and you can see over 22 of them on our website. Or visit our yard here at Darra to see all the mulches for yourself  in bulk bays at our newly renovated and clean yard with easy parking and plenty of room to drive around even with your trailer, car, ute or truck.

Hoop Pine Bark

Hoop Pine Bark

Hoop Barks & Mulches come from the production of hoop pine for the construction industry and is the bark that is pealed from the tree before milling. It is a richdark colour which makes it attractive to most gardeners. It comes in three types, Heavy Hoop Bark which is ideal for commercial sites and slopes needing mulch, as it tends to hang on even in heavy rain. Medium Hoop Bark  is the most popular and can be used in many garden applications. Fine Hoop Bark consist of the fine particles that are sieved out of the two larger varieties. I find this to be the most attractive and can be used in most applications resulting in a rich dark finish to the garden. It is also and easy mulch to shovel, pick up and spread between the plants.

Slash Pine Bark – various sizes

Pine Barks are the waste bark from the milling process of the sustainable pine tree plantations you see on the way to the Sunshine Coast as you approach Australia Zoo. I understand that these trees are harvested every twenty odd years or so years. The logs and bark is then processed with large grinders and sieving trommels that grade the bark bits into a number of sizes we call Chunky Pine Bark, Cottage bark, Plantation Fines, Pine Bark Mini Nuggets and then the very fine pieces are processed to make Soft Fall Pine bark for playgrounds and very cool looking gardens…I think it looks great.

Other Popular “Woody”  Organic Mulch and Hays…

Cypress Mulches have become very popular due to their fragrance and are reported to repel termites and white ants. So if this is an issue in your area, a mulch or bark from the cypress tree may be a good option!  We can supply you with four different cypress varieties including, Blended Cypress Fines, Red Cypress Mulch-Natural, Cypress Wood Chip and Tropical Blend.

Tea Tree

Tree harvested mulch – Tea Tree

Tree Harvested Mulches… are derived by tree clearing from developments for housing, train lines and roads etc. and as a result the felled trees can be recycled into useful sustainable mulch. They include mulches like Green Harvest, Hardwood Chip, Forest Mulch Ground Cover and Scrub Mulch. The quality of these can vary quite a lot with Green Harvest being the most popular and was originally used in the Roma Street Gardens but now I understand they are using a similar natural mulch clippings coming from their now extensive gardens. Well worth a visit!

Tea Tree Mulch is also extremely popular with a nice natural fragrance and texture that looks rich on the garden and is easy to spread around plants and trees. 

Sugar Cane and Lucerne Mulch that come packed in bales… These are not my favourites as they are expensive for what you are getting, decay quickly which itself can be good according to some experts and generally look terrible in my opinion but can be good on veggie patches. It is claimed that they add nitrogen to the top soil but in my humble opinion I have found that hard to swallow as the stuff generally sits high up on the soil until it breaks down becoming a compost which is indeed good for the top soil. But most of us, unless we are veggie gardeners want the mulch to do as we expect ,inhibit moisture loss and weeds, prevent erosion and look good. Yes, look good! I don’t think these particular mulches look good at all.

Next time we will discuss just How and When to Mulch. This is important as many novice gardeners do not know and want to do the right thing and not kill their plants!

 

  More Information About Mulch…

For more information on Mulch in the Garden go to the  ABC’s, Gardening Australia programmes…just click below.

  • Series 22 Episode 37 by Angus Stewart
  • Series 20 Episode 24 by Colin Campbell who have just passed away after a life dedicated to helping us all with our gardens by his presentation through many media including TV prolific writing on the topic.
  • http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s1484684.htm

Written and Photographed by
Terry O’Shea

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