For gardeners who live in cold areas, or want to protect warm-weather plants over winter, mulch is a very important tool. Although mulches come in a wide variety of forms, some mulches -- like cedar mulch -- have long-lasting popularity.
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Cedar mulch is ground material derived from the wood and foliage of cedar trees.
Mulch vs Chips
Cedar trees can also be chopped up into coarser pieces. These chips are used for landscaping rather than mulching.
Cedar mulch is used as insulation against weeds, pests and cold weather. Gardeners pile layers of mulch around the bases of their plants, and maintain the mulch layer year-round.
Cedar mulch has two major advantages over other mulches. The oil in cedar wood acts as a natural pest repellent, and gives cedar mulch a pleasing, evergreen smell.
As a hard wood mulch, cedar mulch does break down over time. This decomposition can leach nitrogen from the soil and damage nitrogen-loving plants.
Cedar's positive qualities only remain active for as long as the mulch is relatively fresh. As cedar mulch ages, the oil wears out, along with the scent and the pest-repelling quality.