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Composted bark?

CopperdogCopperdog Posts: 547

sorry if this is a ridiculous question!  I usually buy mpc to mulch beds - although last week we managed to empty our 3 dalek composers into the bed - hard work but very satisfying. I have bought composted bark from the garden centre this time as I wanted to sort of top dress beds although it is almost like compost. Thought it would be a little chunkier although I didn't want the large stuff anyway  so I am more than happy but what is it and is it a good product or should I stick to mpc? 


  • CopperdogCopperdog Posts: 547

    Thanks Chloe, that's what the guy at the garden cente said. He said it's the most popular with customers. But I'm curious as to why? Why is it better than mpc? 

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    Composted bark contains very little in the way of nutrients but is a good long lasting mulch which will help to retain moisture and keep weeds down.  MPC will feed the soil but will disappear quickly, so not as good for mulching purposes.  If you want to feed the soil, I'd sprinkle on fish, blood and bone before putting down the composted bark.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • CopperdogCopperdog Posts: 547

    Thanks bob, that's very helpful, yes it does seem a really nice product. I sprinkled fbb a couple of weeks ago so will try and get that bark on the bed tomorrow. 

  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087

    Mpc as a mulch has a tendency to dry up too quickly. I normally buy quite a lot of it and cultivate it in to the soil incorporating FBB. So not a mulch but more of improving the soil structure. Bark chipping are a great mulch for small to medium garden but can be quite expensive annual cost for larger gardens 

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053

    bark used as a mulch doesn't leech nutrients from soil, even uncomposted. There is debate as to whether it depletes nitrogen when dug into soil. I've seen research which says yes, and research which says no. 

    Used as a mulch  it draws nitrogen from the air ( 78% Nitrogen ) NOT from the soil. 

    Another well trotted out myth I'm afraid.

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