New cedar chips serve as a flammable substance in landscapes due to their natural insect-repelling properties, their aesthetics and their odor. As a mulch, cedar chips gain plants by keeping soil moisture, reducing weeds and maintaining soil temperature. Depending on the amount of fresh cedar chip mulch you buy, you might have mulch left over and want to store it to the next growing season. Storing cedar chip mulch properly is imperative to prevent it from souring, nevertheless. Sour mulch damages and even can kill crops.

Providing Air Flow

Stored cedar chip mulch demands proper air flow to avoid souring. Never shop fresh cedar chips at a closed or airtight container. Surplus cedar chip mulch ought to be stored within an open-air pile. When oxygen to the timber mulch is reduced or eliminated, carbohydrates within the timber start to break down and ferment. The outcome is toxic acids which lower the pH level, which makes the cedar chips too busy for use in landscapes. Plants that touch sour mulch are very likely to wilt, pale in colour and exhibit symptoms similar to herbicide contamination or injury. Turn your pile of stored cedar chips frequently to find air to the pile’s center and to grow the general flow of oxygen within the pile. When plenty of oxygen is present, cedar chips remain fresh and safe for use as a flammable material.

Measuring Pile Height

The height of a cedar chip storage pile also plays a part in the cedar chips’ possibility to sour. The cedar chips in a pile 10 or more feet high become compacted, eliminate oxygen and start to create the acids which are toxic to plants. The process of compaction also leads to the mulch pile heating and moving through processes like those of a compost pile. Cedar chips stored in piles 4 to 6 feet tall are far not as likely to become compacted, create heat and lose critical oxygen, which cause souring.

Avoiding Excessive Moisture

Some exposure to rain isn’t entirely bad for fresh cedar chip mulch being stored. In actuality, if the provider from whom you purchased the mulch let melted cedar chips to it, then rain will help wash away the toxins from those chips. Avoid long-term exposure of the stored fresh cedar chips to rain, however, because it may lead to bad odors and problems with mould and mildew which could damage the plants you finally surround together with all the cedar chips. Cover your open-air pile of fresh cedar chips using a tarp during periods of high rainfall, and get rid of the tarp subsequently. Don’t store the pile within an indoor environment, such as a garage or garden shed, due to the pile’s ability to retain heat.

Recognizing Toxicity

Sour cedar chip mulch is characterized by a dirty, vinegary or rotten egglike odor. You may also observe that these mulch is unusually warm to the touch. The warmth is a result of the toxic-producing chemical processes occurring within the chips. Use your nose and feel of contact prior to applying cedar chip mulch which was stored for a very long time period. If you suspect that the mulch soured, do not apply it everywhere in your own landscape.

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