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To bark or not to bark

RoddersUKRoddersUK Posts: 536
edited September 2021 in Plants
Dug over a new border, mixed in bags of compost, but looks messy. Should I cover with bark, or just wait for the plants to grow and cover it
 What would you do, eventually these borders will be around the whole garden, so would be a lot of bark.



  • B3B3 Posts: 26,945
    It doesn't look at all messy to me. The plants will grow and hide the soil pretty soon.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,348
    I wouldn't use chunky bark round perennials. A layer of the finer stuff would be ok, or another layer of compost would be better.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • I used all my compost in the soil and have a bag of bark lying around lol.
    I could go and buy more compost.
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,996
    Bark will rot down and feed the soil organisms, so there's good reason to do it other than the look of it. But water the plants very thoroughly first if you do it.
    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • I have large bark chippings in my raised beds. I went for large as in the past, smaller ones proved more popular than I would have liked with the neighbourhood cats. Chippings make life so much easier as far as weeding is concerned as any germinating seeds don't root in the soil and can be plucked out no problem. The good thing as well is that when the weather is hot, they'll protect the ground from drying out as much but you should give the ground a good soaking first. 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,705
    I'd use the budget for bark to buy more plants.
  • RoddersUKRoddersUK Posts: 536
    edited September 2021
    Hostafan1 said:
    I'd use the budget for bark to buy more plants.
    I was going to let them spread out and fill any gaps with annuals next year.
    I always plant too crowded and things squish up too much. 
    Taking easy this time!
    There is a hibiscus at the back, that will grow in time and I have some salvia cuttings to go in next year.
  • I went for Spruce Ornamental bark and it looks a lot better for it. I too am waiting for gaps to fill out. I thought in the meantime it looks nice and smells lovely and will improve the soil etc as it disappears. 

    Also has been great for weeding as they are a lot easier to get out. 
  • FireFire Posts: 18,015
    I think bark or wood chip mulch is great for the look, keeping down the weeds and keeping in moisture.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,542
    Bark would be fine since that's what you have, just don't pile it up around the crowns of the plants. I don't use bark or woodchip (which is apparently slightly better for plants) because I plant so densely and constantly dig up and replant things lol.
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