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Old 09-30-2017, 10:47 AM
 
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Due to landscaping, some of surface is not level, so I have to do some additional work after landscape company left. I don't like the way the way, some spots are covered with very thick of mulch to make the surface look smooth, so I have to remove the mulch and get some soil nearby the spots. There are mulch everywhere, so it is difficult to get soil only, now it ends up the surface is quite mixture of soil and mulch. Probably I need to cover a new layer of mulch again.

If mulch is quite a few inches below the surface, will it eventually turn into soil in the future? If so, how many years will it take to decompose? No ideas what mulch is used by landscape company.

Thanks.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:55 AM
 
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Assuming it's organic material, decomposition will require access to oxygen. Turning the soil/mulch mixture with a fork once or twice a year will hasten the process.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:07 AM
 
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Sh*t happens, but turning it over will hasten the process...
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 17thAndK View Post
Assuming it's organic material, decomposition will require access to oxygen. Turning the soil/mulch mixture with a fork once or twice a year will hasten the process.
What he said. Plus if you keep the area moist you will find worms come up which further fertilize the soil and help composting the mulch.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:49 AM
 
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I had a part of my yard that was mulch beds and overgrown bushes. I took the bushes out, and leveled out the mulch bed mixing it in with the soil..then I seeded.


It somewhat grew, but there was still a lot of mulch present. I turned it over a bit, and reseeded again, this time more dirt than mulch. It's not 2 years later and I recently dug into the area to install some lighting, and it's pretty much all dirt, and heavily covered with grass that's growing quite well.
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Old 10-03-2017, 04:36 PM
 
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Just don't try this with rubber mulch!
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Old 10-03-2017, 05:50 PM
 
Location: NC
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Technically, soil is primarily decomposed rock (over the eons) with often 10 to 20% decomposed organic matter. Mulch is pure organic matter. To speed the decomposition of mulch you need moisture and oxygen, as stated above, but you also need nitrogen. Mulch is mostly carbon, while useful organic matter is a mixture of nitrogen and carbon molecules. So, add a little bit of nitrogen containing fertilizer to speed up the breakdown. Most of it will be minimized in a year.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:33 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlebeH View Post
.......If mulch is quite a few inches below the surface, will it eventually turn into soil in the future? If so, how many years will it take to decompose? ......
Yes, it will turn to nice rich soil, but if it isn't getting oxygen, it will take longer. It has to be organic matter, which most mulch is. I suppose rubber is technically organic, but I don't think rubber mulch will turn to soil.

Time has a lot to do with how big the pieces are. Large bark mulch (which is rather expensive to buy) will take a very long time to compost. Fine bark mulch or hulls will be faster.

In the meantime, most mulch has water retaining properties so in most soils it is beneficial to have it mixed in.

Where I wanted a lot of organic matter, I brought in truckloads of aged horse manure. It made for marvelous rich soil, but it came with a bunch of weed seeds. I happened to think it was worth pulling weeds to get the super rich soil for my veggie garden, but not a lot of people would agree with me.

Mulch prevents weeds becasue it shades the soil, not for any actual weed killing properties.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:42 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
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My suggestion: it is usually not too difficult to get a truck load of sand (make sure it is not beach sand that will have salt in it). I just fill low spots with sand mixed with some organic material, like maybe peat or perlite or aged manure. Sand is easy to move around, it is easy to level, it drains well, and it doesn't settle badly. It is easy to plant in and pull weeds out of.

In my area, they want to charge a lot of money for "top soil" which turns out to be rather poor quality dirt with almost no organic component. I refuse to pay the price for it. I make my own, a sort of potting mix, that works really well in my garden.
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Old 10-07-2017, 12:24 PM
 
Location: SWCT, close to coast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlebeH View Post
If mulch is quite a few inches below the surface, will it eventually turn into soil in the future? If so, how many years will it take to decompose? No ideas what mulch is used by landscape company..


Yes it will. 1-3 yrs depending on conditions and location. Watch this.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eF8PQOgr580
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