Ingredients used to make mulch can both attract or repel insects, depending on the variety. Red hemlock oils are highly repellent and can be used both alone or mixed along with cedar mulch. Insects that often find mulch as a source of food will resist the hemlock, helping to avoid dangerous infestations near the home.
A very dark red bark, hemlock mulch is high in tannins that help keep the raw materials bright red for long periods of time. Although some people get the two confused, the bark of red hemlock is not the same poisonous species that is commonly found in the wild. Instead, the hemlock tree bark is high in Vitamin C and sold as an almost powdery application that should be spread along a layer and watered down.
Ground beetles and spiders prey on many of the insects that are normally found in mulch homes. The even soil temperature around trees makes the perfect area for carpenter ants and termites that also use the tree for food. This can cause numerous problems for homeowners who should worry about the complications caused by infestation. Using red hemlock is a safe alternative that will repel instead of attracting many of these common insect threats naturally.
Preparation is important before starting to mulch an area. Gardeners should reserve larger pieces of mulch for ornamental areas that do not require repeat applications, and the smaller, thinner layer for pathways that will break down annually. Rake and weed the areas thoroughly before applying, and place the mulch approximately 3 inches deep across the bed. Avoid crowding out tree trunks and plant stems since it is possible to stunt the plants' growth in the process.
When computing the amount of red hemlock mulch required for an area, begin by measuring the length times the width to get the square area. Multiply this by the 3 inches of depth to obtain the volume of mulch needed for the project. Each bag of mulch will have the exact conversion of mulch contained and it is important to remember that it is easier to have too little than it is to remove heavier applications later on.
Mulching is not a perfect solution to many gardening troubleshoots. Gardens can use red hemlock mulch to contain weed infestations or for ornamental purposes, but the organic composition of the mulch will break down over time and require new applications. Also, some weeds may still break the surface of the area and need to be manually removed. Herbicidal and insecticidal sprays can help limit these problems.