Cedar Mulch For Vegetable Gardens – A Good Idea?

Using cedar mulch for vegetable gardens is an incredibly useful way to keep weeds at bay and aid with keeping the soil moist for longer. Organic mulch materials can be used to great effect to promote the health of a vegetable garden, or any bed in which you want to help retain moisture, regulate soil temperature and minimize soil erosion through wind blowing the soil away.

Cedar in particular, either shredded or chipped is well known for its durability, pleasant odor and the ability to repel some pests.  It’s considered some of the best wood mulch for vegetable gardens. Cedar mulch is an excellent mulch to use around perennial plants and on flower beds, but it can also be used to good effect around annual vegetables and herbs. I’ve used it to good effect when building vegetable garden boxes, it looks great and keeps the weeds at bay.

cedar mulch for vegetable gardens

Benefits Of Using Cedar Mulch For Vegetable Gardens

Cedar bark, as well as providing the general benefits that many wood-based mulches provide, offers some special qualities that make it a perfect fit for a vegetable garden if applied correctly.It lasts many times longer than other organic mulches like straw and dried leaves. It adds nutrients and nitrogen to the soil as it decomposes over time, helping to increase the percentage of organic matter in the soil. Mulches also prevent the germination of weed seeds, keep the soil temperature higher, and help prevent water evaporation from the soil surface.

Cedar mulch benefits are also known to include a chemical compound called thujaplicin, which is a bacteria and fungus inhibitor. Some varieties of cedar omit chemicals that can repel moths, beetles, ants, and cockroaches.

It has been reported by some quarters that cedar can be toxic to other plants, but this is considered a myth by experienced horticulturalists.

How To Apply Cedar Mulches For Vegetables Gardens

Application of cedar mulch is very straightforward. Here are some tips:

  1. Purchase a good quality mulch like Mighty 109 Natural Cedar Mulch.
  2. Ensure that any plants you are mulching around are at least 4-5 inches tall.
  3. Trim any low leaves that are close to the ground to prevent them being buried and burnt by the mulch.
  4. Apply the mulch to a depth of 2-3″ deep to cover the soil, leaving a 2″ gap around the stem of the plant.

The aroma of cedar is quite strong, but pleasant, and it’s great to think that insects and bugs will be repelled.

To maintain your mulch, keep an eye on it and make sure it has not fallen or been blown around the stems of the plants. Remove any weeds that do pop up, but non-germinated weed seeds should be held in check.

This video explains how to use cedar mulch on your veggie garden:

Cedar Mulch Vs Cedar Chips

Although slightly different in size, there isn’t a lot of difference between cedar mulch and cedar chips. The potential cedar mulch problems that I mentioned above are only thought to occur when using cedar sawdust as a mulch. Chips or mulch, you’re fine with either.

Cedar mulch for vegetable gardens is a long life product, one that looks incredibly attractive, and has many other qualities to make it the perfect garden mulch. Definitely a good product for the homesteader looking to create a self sustaining garden.

Happy Mulching!

Sources: Colorado State University – Mulching With Wood/Bark Chips, Grass Clippings And Rock

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