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Garden Mulch FAQs - Handy Hints for Gardeners

Garden Mulch - Frequently Asked Questions (136 KB)

1. What is the best mulch for my garden?

The choice of which mulch to use relates to personal preference. Fine mulches tend to suit more formal gardens, and colourful mulches are preferable in gardens with many foliage plants and fewer flowering plants, as the mulch offers a strong contrast to the foliage.

2. How deep should I mulch?

Mulch should be applied to a depth of 100mm. This will provide an effective weed suppressing layer and maximize moisture retention. Should customers wish to apply less than 100mm we recommend using Weedmat prior to mulching. Weedmat is porous so that air and water can move into and out of the soil while still managing to hinder weed growth.

3. How long will mulch last?

Mulches vary in lifespan from approximately 12 months in the case of leaf mulch, to approximately 3 years in the case of woodchip. These figures assume that 100mm depth of mulch is applied.

4. What mulch suits native gardens?

We recommend our Forest Fines® and Forest Blend® or Leaf Mulch for use in native gardens, their natural colour suiting native plants.        

5. I need some mulch for my exotic garden, what should I use?

The choice of mulch for exotic gardens depends on the colours and textures that suit the house and garden. While personal preference plays an important role we advise our customers that mulches vary in terms of how long they last. This is often an important factor in the purchase.

6. As mulch breaks down does it take nutrients from the soil?

As mulch decomposes some nutrients will be lost from the soil and consumed by the soil micro flora. To compensate for this we recommend the application of fertiliser prior to mulching or alternatively the use of an degraded composted mulch such as our Remulch ®, Greenlife® 'Mulch & Compost' or composted pine bark.

7. Is any mulch termite repellent?

Cypress Pine Woodchip is thought to be termite repellent; however no guarantees can be given that termites will not be found in any mulch. We advise customers to be careful when mulching close to external walls of houses and buildings and to regularly check the perimeter for termites.

8. What should I put under play equipment?

Playground mulch (Softfall) is a mulch which is certified to an Australian Standard and which we recommended for use beneath playground equipment.

9. What is coloured mulch made from?

ANL's colour enhanced range of mulches is manufactured from a blend of recycled wood chips, and is coloured using nontoxic colorant. Once dry the colorant is colour fast, and will hold its colour for a minimum of 1218 months. We recommend that after a period of 36 months, the mulch be raked over to bring deeper layers of mulch to the surface. This will help lengthen the brightness and lifespan of the product.

10. Is the colorant toxic?

No, the colorant is nontoxic to people, animals and plants.

11. Can I unload coloured chip onto my driveway?

It is important that no mulch should be unloaded directly onto driveways or other surfaces without a tarp or protective mat. All mulches are organic in nature, and will potentially leach tannins or other organic substances that may stain concrete.

12. What should I do to the garden before I mulch?

The objective of mulching is to stop weeds, hold water and not have to do it again too often. Before you apply mulch it is important to make sure that the soil is healthy, has adequate compost & organic matter, and that there is enough fertiliser available for the plants to grow.

Before mulching, add compost if needed, add fertiliser (and it doesn’t really matter which one) and water the garden well. This watering is important because it ensures that the soil won’t be hydrophobic. When garden soil is too dry, water runs straight off (it’s hydrophobic) and you may need to add some wetting agents to overcome this.