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What to do with old mulch in a future flower garden?

Kate D.
5 months ago

Hi all! I am an extremely amateur gardener. We recently moved into a home after renting for several years and I finally have space for a cut flower garden. There is currently a bare, mulched (I guess considered "organic" mulch? Not rubber, etc.) area in the front yard where I'd like to put the garden. This location looks like it was somewhat maintained but nothing really growing there when we moved in early September. I don't know how old the mulch is or what else that area was used for. Upon digging, I found out there is actually also some landscape material under the mulch.

I am assuming I want to remove all of this before starting my flowers from seed, but I am seeing mixed advice online for what to do with the mulch that is there. Some sources say it's fine to leave and "mix in" to the soil. Other things say if there were any diseased plants nearby it could spread disease to whatever is planted there and it'll all fail. There's also a zillion acorns mixed into the mulch.

So if I am planning to work compost into the soil and start from seed - would it be wise to remove all mulch and landscaping fabric and dispose of it? OR do I "mix in" the old mulch and plant seeds into it? OR should I remove the mulch and repurpose it somewhere else in the yard?

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