Recently I have spoken with a number people who are concerned about spreading wood mulch over their garden, in fear it will attract termites to their house. So here are some facts on mulch & termites and the garden.
1. Mulch creates a moist cool area on top of the soil, plants love this as it protects their roots and keeps them moist. Insects also love this environment and tend to thrive in a moist cool area, among these insects are many which are beneficial for the garden, however termites also enjoy this cool moist environment.
2. Mulch does NOT attract insects (including termites) like a magnet. They do NOT hear it, or see it or smell it and come running. Rather the insects which are already present in your soil wander into the mulch on their travels and like the moist cool environment and so decide to stay there.
3. All forms or mulch (or anything for that matter) which covers the surface of your soil and so provides a moist cool environment will have many insects living there. This means when it comes to termites it wouldn’t make a difference between wood mulch, or gravel, or pebbles, or rubber. It is NOT the wood in the mulch which is attracting the termites to live there, but rather the moist cool environment created by the mulch.
4. So in light of this my recommendations are as follows: It is fine to have wood mulch on your gardens in your yard, and by doing this you are not attracting termites to your house. However, mulch of any kind should not be spread against the side of your house, as this may increase the chances of termites entering your home. And so it is a good idea to leave a buffer zone of about 1 foot around the perimeter of your home free from mulch or any materiel which will create the moist cool environment for insects.
There are some facts about mulch and termites and your garden. I hope they helps bust some myths and keep your home termite free.
Want privacy from the neigbours? You don’t need to move to a remote location and you don’t need to build a tall ugly wall or fence. Instead there are many nice hedges you can use to avoid the neighbours’ curious eyes.
Huge Screens – 8-10 meters
(Great if you want to screen an acreage or a two storey house)
1. Acmena Smithii – A very fast growing Australian native which is drought tolerant
2. Syzygium Australe – An Australian native which is hardy and drought tolerant
3. Cupressocyparis leylandii ‘Leightons Green’ – A conifer with beautiful blue foliage
Large Screens – 3-6 meters
(Fast growing and great for meduim sized backyards)
1. Acmena Smithii ‘Minor’ – A hardy Australian native
2. Golden Cane Palm – A clumping palm with beautiful golden foliage
3. Photinia Robusta – A dense hedge with thick red folage
Medium Screens – 2-3 meters
(Easy to maintain and for any backyard)
1. Murraya Paniculata – A dense dark green hedge
2. Syzigium Cascade – A hardy Australian native
3. Viburnum Odoratissimum – Big lime green leaves
How far apart to space your plants for a hedge?
When working out what distance to space your plants, follow the 3 to 1 rule of thumb. This is the height you want the hedge to grow (3) with the distance you plant them apart (1). So if you want a 6 meter hedge you should space the plants 2 meters apart, and if you want a 2 meter hedge space the plants at 65cm apart.