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Log mulch?

FireFire Posts: 18,095
It's an odd sounding question in a week of odd forum questions, but has anyone used or heard of mulching with whole (small) logs? I use am using logs under new hedges, as a mix of habitat for beetles etc and as a mulch to keep precious water in so new trees do not to dry out. I want to put log piles under all my hedging  - not touching the bark (so as to not encourage plant rot) and not close packed (so that water easily runs off to the plants). I've seen bark and woodchip used, but never larger pieces.

The plan does seem to make sense to me; Even on raised beds, with plants put into between the logs (?); as I have a large, free supply of wood, from my own trees and a local tree surgeon.

The advantage for hedging would be that not many ground-cover mulch plants (like clover) would be happy in the darkness under there. Bark and woodchip is great for extending wildlife habitat (I have found) but logs might be even better.

Your thoughts are very welcome. Many thanks.


  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    Would work perfectly I would imagine Fire, the only disadvantage I can imagine is that water might struggle to get to the soil as easily, and just soak into the logs, but I suppose the same is true of mulch. In terms of causing damage, I have logs all over in amongst plants, not covering the ground in the same way, and there seems to be no ill effects to plants growing between and around them. If theyre half buried in the soil they break down pretty quickly, and as you say the insects love them
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    I agree and they will make a perfect habitat for various types of beetle which are nearly all good guys.  Go for it! :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    I have various parts of the garden which have little logs/branches in among the planting.
    They're heavily planted borders, and the logs don't look too odd as they're an accompaniment to the plants,   and it just seems a good way of providing more habitat.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Birdy13Birdy13 Posts: 595
    I think it's a great idea. I've done something similar with
    • the rotten sleepers of a raised bed I had to replace
    • Fruit tree prunings which were too big for the shredder
    • part of a very thick conifer bough that had to be removed due to storm damage
    • several metres of 'log roll' lawn edging that after only a few years had rotted away  underground (in spite of the so called 10 year guarantee).
    With regard to the latter, I also noticed that, while it was still in the ground, worm colonies seemed to be attracted to the rotting posts even though the wood is supposed to have been treated. 
    That fact alone gives me confidence to use it in the compost heap once I've (eventually) remove all the wire connections. 
    In fact, most of all of the above will probably end up in the compost once it has broken down enough. But at the moment it all resides, no doubt along with resident colonies of bugs and insects, at the foot of my leylandii hedging where it is doing a grand job of keeping weeds down.

  • FireFire Posts: 18,095
    That is wonderfully encouraging. Thank you for your comments. I will make a plan.

    Logs under hedges seem to be a good wildlife solution for a garden like mine, only 3m across.
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