I had many trees go down in a tornado. We have chipped up the fresh branches and leaves. Can I use this fresh mulch on my flower garden right away? Why is it better to leave it sit for a while before using it?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Great question. Freshly chipped mulch needs to sit for a few months up to a year (depending on how much you have) prior to its use in the garden. Why? If applied while fresh the heat generated while decomposing can quickly burn plants. To speed up the process, simply keep your mulch pile turned to allow air to flow through.
Great answer, Nikki. However, if you are using the mulch to snuff out weeds, using fresh mulch is as good as aged. One thing that may cut down on the burning is if you can screen out the smaller debris to use in a compost pile, and use the larger, fresh wood chips as straight mulch.