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Compost mulch questions

13 years ago

I moved in to my new home this July and inherited with it a neglected garden. We're trying to take things slowly with the yard and house alike, so we're not making any big changes to the garden until we've seen how all the seasons treat it. However, I'm starting to worry that the shrubs, which were pretty badly damaged in last winter's cold snaps, won't make it through another winter without help. I think I'd like to put down a layer of mulch before the first frost. In addition to insulating and amending the existing soil (which is mostly quite sandy), I'd like to mulch it deeply enough to discourage some of the overgrown weeds from coming back as strongly.

* How deep a layer of compost should I consider? I would be expecting to top it off with a 1/4-1/2" twice yearly from here on out.

* Is bark mulch a better choice for this purpose?

* Should I remove the landscaping fabric while I'm at it? It kind of annoys me. :\

Thanks for any advice. Let me know if I should post elsewhere, I chose this forum because it seems to me like the Pacific Northwest climate and soil are unique and the way the way we use compost amendments and mulches is also somewhat unique. And I'm sorry if my questions reveal my ignorance. :) I've gardened successfully in Oregon and Ohio before, but it's been years, and this is my first really expansive and long-term gardening effort!

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