Cedar Mulch Harmful in Gardens?
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Melanie
Posted on: October 02, 2007

I recently read an article that said one shouldn’t use cedar mulch in vegetable or herb gardens. Is that true? If so, can you tell me why? I have made permanent raised beds in my garden and have mulched the pathways with cedar mulch, as it was the only thing left at my local store. Do I need to remove all of that mulch?

The only thing I have heard about cedar mulch is that it repels earwigs. Maybe it repels other insects as well and in this way upset the natural balance. But this is pure conjecture on my part.

However, since you did not use the mulch on the raised beds themselves, I cannot think that the mulch would do any harm.

Wood mulches all rob the soil of nitrogen, because the fungi that decay the mulch use up the nitrogen and only re-release it when they die. It means you have to use more nitrogen fertilizer to get the same results initially, but the lack of competition from weeds and the reduction in back-breaking weeding make the wood mulch well worth while.

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