mulching sedums

Mulching Sedums
mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of soil. It is often compost or material suitable for adding nutrition and insulating. NOT for Sedums – a mulch is a layer of inert material used to hinger slugs and snails and other pests and diseases, and to prevent rain splash muddying the lower plant parts which may cause growing problems.
Sedums such as our SPLASH  and our SUPERSTAR Sedums need a surface mulch. Our evergreen carpeting sedums do not want anything other than small pieces, like sharp grit adding. Being shorter than many garden plants, Sedums often suffer from dampness affecting the older, yellowing leaves. This happens….deciduous Sedums lose leaves as fast as they are grown over summertime and autumn – usually the lowest leaves ”senesce’ first slowly releasing nutrients to the plant …whilst yellowing then rotting. Often this rot is dried by air and little damage occurs if left at the stem for many weeks….bacteria rather than fungi act to decompose these ‘air-dried” leaves. However, lay the edge on some wet soil and within days rot may begin to travel up the leaf and into the stem – sometimes causing big problems for the whole length of the stem.
Guard against this, and enjoy colour contrasts if you can choose coloured material also …but the general rule is to …

MULCH SEDUMS with coarse, crushed,  sharp, angular       ….     sand grit gravel or stone, oystershell grit, or chicken grit  often described as ALPINE grit…. PREFERABLY coarse , rough , crushed grit-gravel but not the rounded pea shaped pieces – use the opposite to round to discourage the sedum growers enemy … 

Slugs and Snails in your SEDUM GARDEN...
Use mulch to discourage these bad guys …. remember some Snails can travel over walls, fences and lawns…15metres or more on a misty warm night. Snails dislike sharp, angular stone and wil go elsewhere if you have them. I have personally fed Spanish Slugs slug pellets to find they just got fatter and meaner …. slug pellets nowadays DO NOT WORK WELL, , if at all. I have no idea how this ‘ ferric phosphate ‘scam came about – other than it is much cheaper to make than metaldehyde pellets,  and being the only product allowed in the UK the price has tripled, yet the desired effect has reduced significantly.   ALSO, iron has a blackening , damaging effect on sedum leaves and stems so avoid getting these little iron-phosphor pellets on Sedums. I recommend you use bio control from a proper company, NOT EBAY or AMAZON. They are just potato powder and old ( or no) nematodes in posh boxes.

Finally, Sedums dislike organic mulches of garden , or other Compost, ……decorative or functional bark, wood-chips, Coir or anything that is part rotted and will continue to rot. These hold excess moisture near to the crown and provide breeding places for pests to linger and live close the the Sedums…
NO, NO and NO dont add organic mulch …how many times must i correct my customers who are told standard instructions from the big ten plant companies online and wonder how they killed their sedums and Hylotelephiums.  They are not lupins or geraniums, they are not needing insulation or humus,  fulvines, or nutrients …they just need a little covering of stone chosen to look good, complement the sedum, and prevent molluscs and rain splash. It will also hinder vine (and other ) weevils tasting and laying at the crown and roots of your Succulent Sedums, and will hinder insects that may, at certain times , be a problem – like the mushroom fly and the damaging larvae that nibble at the soft Sedum Stems.
Mulch your Sedums every few years – earthworms may bring soft soil back to the top of the mulch, so add more mulch around your plants every few years – most hardware stores and garden centres sell small bags for about £4-6.
As your tall Sedums grow they will , after a few more years, rise to the top so heres the final reason to add a mulchto your Sedum Garden Plants

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