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absentminded
preparing new planting beds in front of house

we have removed everything from the front of our house and are ready to plant our beds. after the soil is prepared, and we get our plants watered in, how much mulch should we use, and what type should we use in an area that has active termites and carpenter ants?

A. Spruce
Re: preparing new planting beds in front of house

That's a tough one. I think that termites and ants have an aversion to cedar bark, though I'm not certain of that. I also know that many critters don't like eucalyptus, which may also do well for you if you can find it. Eucalyptus drives off fleas, ticks, and I think helps keep mosquito's at bay. The depth of mulch would depend on whether you broadcast water or spot water your plants, how fertile your soil is. I tend to like 4+ inches which locks together nicely and forms a weed barrier.

Have you thought about a creeping ground cover instead of a topical application of mulch? I can't name a particular variety, but there are many plants that stay 3 or 4 inches in height and spread over an area.

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