Mulch for beds against house

Raleigh, NC(Zone 8a)

I know there is a mulch/compost forum but thought I would start here since our climate is a little different than most. I wanted to get feedback on what type of mulch to put in beds by my house. These literally are right against the house, and it's the north side, so it gets little sun.

I was thinking cedar because I recall it being insect repelling naturally; however, one mulch company said that's not really true. I know it's more expensive but don't mind paying more if it does help combat insects since this area stays fairly moist when it rains due to lack of sunlight to help dry things out.

Any thoughts? Am I better off w/ cedar, or should I just go with pine bark or something and spray it for bugs periodically?

Thanks in advance for opinions/expertise!

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I am in Hillsborough. Our termite guy says NO mulch against the house ! I keep it a few inches away (maybe 4 or so??) - it hasn't hurt anything so far - no weeds are starting and no sign of termites. I use hardwood mulch and get it lots (LOTS) cheaper from the OC landfill and it is very clean.

I have mulched with rock (pebbles), pine bark, hardwood mulch, straw and glass - and have had no issues with bugs here. Some mulch types last longer (like the glass lasts forever!! ;0) and some keep weeds down longer (like the pine straw doesn't keep any weeds from springing up in my opinion) So I would say anything that suits your landscape design and budget would work in our climate.

(Zone 9a)

I agree, you will never notice the mulch being a few inches away from your foundation and it will help to prevent both termites and a lot of other insects and critters too.

Johns Island, SC

Mulch is an interesting question/enigma. And my experience with it says ONE answer is not realistic. It all depends... I have some old Live Oaks on the property that we really treasure, and want to protect. Tree people told me not to grow grass over their roots (compete for nutrients), so we should mulch over the root areas. Gagged on that! We were talking about a lot of yardage that would be brown, not green. We like green. But we bit the bullet, and carved out large beds around their canopy which we mulched, first with a 4" layer of compost from the Town Dump ($10/ton)..., can't beat that! We covered that with 2"Cypruss Mulch and we got 5 yrs of relatively free maintenance out of it. But now we have to face it again... I guess it never ends, does it?

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

It always gets better and I thought we were doing good at $20 and my hubby tells me it is now $25.

What about weeds? Is there a wood mulch that you find has less issue with weeds setting up house?

(Zone 9a)

It hurts me to hear you say you mulched over the tree roots. It sounds like tree abuse to me. LOL. The old live oaks breathe through those surface roots. I can almost hear them gasping from here. How about using some ground cover that would scamper around the roots but not smother them? Dwarf mondo, vinca, the asian jasmine??? It would be green....... Those trees are getting all the nutrients they need from their own leaves that fall to the ground and this year we seem to be having an epic leaf drop.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

And nuts too.

Also plumbago ( dwarf) would look beautiful with three season interest ( at least)

Raleigh, NC(Zone 8a)

I could have sworn we had a mulch community/forum at one time. Granted, I haven't been on here much this past year, so I could be confused, but I couldn't find it when I looked.

I just bumped into the city cutting down an old rotted maple tree up the street. They are going to bring me the mulched tree, which is great because I was about to go to Lowes and buy about 20 bags of mulch. I'm going to use it in my front beds by the house (but start it about a foot away from the house so it's not right up against it, and my other beds in back yard. I plan to spray for bugs before it goes down, then again once I spread it around.

Anyone ever use maple tree mulch before? The city guys said they didn't see any insects with the tree as they were cutting it down. I'm just thrilled to be getting 6 cu yds of mulch delivered for FREE! :happydance:

They will be here in about 30 mins.

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