Mulching is an important gardening practice in Kansas. Not only does mulch suppress weeds, it also helps maintain soil moisture which is vital to conserving water in our gardens. We recommend any of a variety of organic materials as the best mulch options for most gardens and landscapes.
Programs We Offer
While we do not typically offer specific classes on mulching, most of our classes and seminars do cover the recommended mulching practices for whatever plants are being discussed.
On Our Grounds
We endeavor to keep the majority of our plantings well mulched. Most of our areas are mulched with wood chips, although we also use straw and compost for mulch in the appropriate locations.
What types of mulch are recommended?
For most landscape plantings, we recommend a wood chip mulch. It does not have to be fancy. Almost any chipped trees are suitable.
For flower and vegetable gardens, either compost or clean straw mulch is suitable. Grass clippings are acceptable if they have not recently been treated with herbicides or other pesticides. Leaves or chopped leaves are also a great mulch.
Shredded paper or newspaper can be used as mulch if the inks are soy-based (The Wichita Eagle uses soy-based ink.) and if you take care to keep the layers of paper from becoming impenetrable to water. Sometimes paper mulches will fuse together and prevent water from easily percolating through.
How do I apply mulch?
Mulch all landscape plants to conserve moisture and reduce weeds. Use woodchips around trees and shrubs to a depth of 2-3" deep and from the trunk out to 3' away on young trees. Mulch flower beds with finer mulches such as compost, shredded leaves or grass clippings. Spread to 1" depth in flower beds.