cedar chip mulch
Photo: Hamilton Hedrick
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Cedar Chips

These large golden-brown pieces of cedar—up to 4 inches long—have a lot of ornamental appeal and take much longer to decompose than shredded material. The cedar chips' natural oil gives them a clean, fresh scent and deters common insect pests. Fresh cedar can rob nitrogen from soil, so be sure to use aged chips in your garden. Because cedar chips lose color fast, you may be tempted to layer them on, but as with most mulches, don't go above a 3-inch layer.

Atlantic Horticulture Cedar Chips, also at The Home Depot, $3.78 per bag (2 cu. ft.).

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