Mulch

 

Any natural product like wood chips would be considered organic, but may not be from an organically grown source.  “When mulching limit the mulch layer to 2-3 inches around woody plants and keep the mulch a minimum of 4 inches away from trunks of trees.”  “Limit the mulch layer to 2-3 inches around herbaceous plants and keep the mulch away from their crowns.”  Before you apply the mulch be sure the grade around the house is such that water moves away from the house.  Consider mulch like cypress that termites and other pests may not prefer from sustainably harvested sources.  Avoid “wood alternatives such as recycled plastics and wood fiber composites, provided they do not contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC).”    Do not use “dyed mulch which may contain demolition debris contaminated with lead paint, pressure-treated wood, or other toxic substances.” Do not use “mulch made from ground-up rubber tires.”  Do not use “newspaper printed with color inks and inserts printed on glossy paper.”  Consider a barrier under the mulch, but not a weed-barrier fabric.  “Soil and organic matter clog the pores of the fabric and prevent air and water from penetrating to the soil below.”  Another option is masonry (stone, bricks, etc.).  Quote Sources: Standards for Organic Land Care, 5th Edition – January 2011.   

​Earth Friendly Land Care, Inc. - Organic Lawn Care