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8 messages
22/05/2012 at 12:09

We just came home from a trip to southern New Hampshire where we saw the use of a reddish bark mulch in private gardens and public spaces. Everywhere it is used it looked so pretty and incredibly tidy. We wondered, does anyone know how they keep it so tidy? We've used it in our boarders here and the birds fling it everywhere, so much so that it ends up in piles, leaving bare patches down to the soil, or gets scattered onto the lawn! Just curious...

22/05/2012 at 20:35

They either have a lot of staff, or they don't have many wild birds!  (or cats for that matter)

22/05/2012 at 21:03

Hi - I think it's an American "thing" - my D lives in the US so I've seen the bark mulch everywhere there too, sometimes in really strong colours.  It does always look tidy!  I wonder whether it's treated in some way so that it repels insects, worms etc - that's what the birds would be looking for I suppose.

23/05/2012 at 09:23
hypercharleyfarley wrote (see)

Hi - I think it's an American "thing" - my D lives in the US so I've seen the bark mulch everywhere there too, sometimes in really strong colours.  It does always look tidy!  I wonder whether it's treated in some way so that it repels insects, worms etc - that's what the birds would be looking for I suppose.

What an appalling idea .... IMHO of course! 

23/05/2012 at 09:44

I couldn't imagine it's treated and I've yet to see an American web site that says it's treated, but it really is strange how it stays put so well! We put some down a few years ago and I don't know how many times we were out there raking it back into the borders. The birds could fling it 3 feet away! Since then we've been putting down compost, bought and from our compost bin. However, due to the night nitrogen content, many of our flowers now have more leaf than blossoms Time for Plan B, whatever that is!

23/05/2012 at 09:46

I use bark mulch extensively in my garden every spring and the birds do indeed fling it about. Every now and then, I have to pick it off the lawn or a nearby plant.

I think it depends on what type of birds are feeding in the area which is perhaps less frequent in public places? I'm no wildlife expert, just guessing.

I have populations of Sparrows, Blackbirds, Blue tits, Ring neck Doves, Thrushes, Magpies and others in my neighbourhood but only the Blackbirds fling stuff around. The Thrushes would probably cause a nuisance if they were more frequent visitors to my garden and I've yet to see a Magpie land (only sit in the trees).

23/05/2012 at 10:12
Wintersong wrote (see)

... I think it depends on what type of birds are feeding...

Blackbirds thrive on worms and insects, that can naturally be found beneath leaves, and dead bark. Blackbirds in my garden make a similar mess with any compost, or manure, put on the garden. They are searching for worms and grubs.

Sparrows and tits, on the other hand, are seed feeders. So they don't bother. And magpies prefer picking meat.

23/05/2012 at 10:23

We're in a small village surrounded by farmland and woodland, so you name it, we've got it! Me thinks the rascels that delight in the major reclamation projects in our garden are the blackbirds and thrushes.

I just read a post on an Aussie forum that suggested laying chicken wire down first, The area the birds seem to like the most is under a long border of shrubs, so they're definately going for the bugs because it's cool and stays a bit damp for the bugs. The wire sounds like it might be a good option for that area. However, I think I'd rather watch the birds' antics than discourage them from doing their thing. After all, that's part of the joy of the garden in the first place, isn't it!

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