What is Bark Mulch
Bark mulch is a byproduct of the forestry industry, making use of the bark stripped off timber that is being milled for lumber such as two-by-fours. Bark and green waste such as wood chips and branches are collected into a huge pile. The material is then put through a chipper to break everything down into similar sized pieces. The chipped green waste is then processed in an aeration system or compost plant. The material is then partially composted. This begins the decomposition process of the material so that it is already on its way to forming a nutrient-rich mulch for gardens and landscapes. Once the composting stage is complete, the bark mulch is processed through a screening plant Bark mulch comes in several shapes and sizes two of the most popular is the general Amenity mulch made from processed mixed conifers to the rich small nuggets of the pine mulch.
Pine bark mulch.
This According to Malcourt or neat, small nuggets giving you that deluxe and high performance and that rich reddish brown.Like all bark mulches it’s is biodegradable which mean over time it will slowly rot down into the soil to give it fiber and carbon.As there are no nutrients in the bark itself despite what other tell you As this pdf will tell you bellow
Also, another thing to bare in mind is that all bark mulches are very acidic – I know from experience that my clients call me out when they have the ‘ Butcher Squad ‘ there words not mine been cutting and chopping trees down and spreading the wood chips everywhere without knowing the consequences.
I come over and see plants dying cause of it. So if you want to Pine Bark Mulch or Any Amenity Mulch down think where you are going to put first.
Advantages of Pine Bark Mulch
- It is like CocoPeat it biodegradable over a period of 3 yrs
- It’s not porous & that means it soaks up moisture like a sponge and benefits the plant’s roots – this can also be a bad thing which I will tell you later on how to work around this
- it’s a natural local source product
- Pine Bark Mulch because of its colour its naturally appealing
- Pine Bark Mulch or any mulch, in fact, deters slugs and snails
Disadvantages of using Bark Mulch
- Some bark mulches may be toxic to young plants, particularly if the bark is fresh or if it has been improperly stockpiled. Toxins can be leached from the bark by heavy watering or evaporated by thorough aeration.Bark mulches are most likely to cause damage to plants if the mulch particles are small, if the mulch is particularly deep, or if high proportions of plant roots are in the surface layer of the soil.
- If the heap is still fresh, ie in the state of decomposition then the nitrates its produces will kill of the fine root hairs or in other cases it will cause nitrogen rubbery. Best to make sure that the pile is well & fully decomposed or buy it from a referable supplier like Melcourt
- Make sure that any Free bark chips are free from pathogens first check your source – although you might get along with your neighbor or arbor the wood might pass the pathogens on to your stock. You wouldn’t put any wood chipping that came from your tree that been infected with your new stock so why would you do it on your trees
- However with this new method of renewing the source another way which is called biochar – this I will explain in chapter 3
Finally, I come to the Bark Compost
What is bark Compost
Bark Compost is a renewable resource and is one of the most widely used components in commercial container media, although barks from many other species are also processed for this purpose.Bark particles used in container media generally range in size from dustlike to about 3/8 inch in diameter.
- Bark lacks the moisture-holding capacity of peat moss, There fore its free draining & like Biochar & coir its needs to pre-soaked for about a day
- As I mentioned above bark alone holds no nutrients at all. So best either mix it up with your compost or buy it from the store that has it already mixed in
- but it can dramatically increase the porosity of a mix.
- Bark cause of its size, when mixed with another medium, will increase the porosity of the compost
- It is biodegrable & therefore old compost can be put into compost heaps to later be dug into the ground
- If its mixed with shredded leaves in autumn and placed in a OPEN compost container the fungi that break down the chipping rot the down the leaves too to make leaf mould – The purpose of the Open container is to allow air flow through the compost and moisture from the rain or dew to activate the heap.
fungi don’t need heat to live only the damp and wet conditions like a typical autumnal day not like grass cutting that need a dry condition to generate heat
A successful container potting medium must :-
- a stable reservoir of moisture and nutrients and remain loose enough to allow for root development, water movement and the exchange of gases in the root zone.
- A growing medium must also have a pH (a measure of the alkalinity or acidity of a medium) that can support adequate nutrient uptake,
- Be virtually sterile
- Be neutral in PH depending on the plant
- The Medium should supply a good anchorage and support for the roots
- must be heavy enough to allow anchorage
.If you have a good mix, water will penetrate it quickly and drain freely from the bottom of the pot. When the excess water has drained away, air will fill the large pore spaces, but enough water will be retained in the smaller spaces to provide ample moisture for the plant. In a poor mix, water may be slow to penetrate, the medium will become heavy and waterlogged, and a crust from algae or accumulated salts may form on the surface. Under these conditions, the roots become starved for oxygen, plant growth slows, foliage may begin to yellow, and plants often succumb to root rot.
With this taken on board I would definitely choose a coir based compost cause with bark there are so many variables either you over water or you under water etc
At least Coco Peat is sterile so there less chance of getting soil-borne diseases than bark so there are fewer things to worry about. Of course, its got to be mixed and soaked before hand for it be any benefit
Well that’s My say what yours