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By Helent

United Kingdom Gb

Unwanted tree bark: We have just moved out and the previous owners scattered tree bark on all the flower beds to make it look tidy to sell. One winter later and it is a real mess - how do you think I can get rid of it? Dig it in? will it help the beds now at all do you think?



I'm wondering why it looks a "real mess"? usually it just sits there slowly rotting down, with a bit of weed growth germinating in late spring maybe in the top of it. If you really don't want it, you can rake it off, or turn it into the soil - but add Growmore or similar at the same time. Digging it in or leaving it in situ is good for the soil, but in the process of its being broken down, which will be speeded up if you dig it in, it will take nitrogen from any plants currently there. Adding Growmore will redress that balance, but should not be used before mid March. Apply 6 weekly until July if you decide to do this.

28 Feb, 2011


Was it tree bark? as I have added bark for years and it always looks good. Or perhaps it was cocoa shell? this can look messy when it rots and goes mouldy but it does rot down fairly quickly

28 Feb, 2011


If it is cocoa shell be very careful if you have pets as it is toxic to them! I put forest bark on my borders , it is supposed to surpress weed growth and improve the soil, Charlie Dimmock said that the worms pull it down and that is how it improves the soil !! I always thought ! I dont want worms that big LOL. The blackbirds make a mess with it scattering it about looking for food.

1 Mar, 2011


Thanks everyone - it just looks a right mess as the previous owner 'sprinkled' the bark over the beds and so it is moving onto the lawn and the paths. I have read up about it and apparently you are meant to have 2-3 inches of bark? It also is quite sporadic so that there are big gaps of bark everywhere.
I think I will dig it in and add some Growmore as Bamboo suggested. Its also diffcult to clear away last years plants so the new shoots can come up.
I am a novice to gardening so any suggestions welcome!

3 Mar, 2011


Hi again Helen, like all gardening even bark needs a bit of care to keep it looking good, I rake mine over every spring and top up every 4-5 years, I keep it about 5" thick and find I get no weeds at all. Yes occasionally the birds pick it over but this tends to be when its new and its soon swept back.

3 Mar, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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