If you're looking at the various choices of mulch, you'll notice many varieties available. It can get a little confusing when trying to pick out the right one. Some mulches are good for only one season, while others are movable to different areas to offer a variety of benefits. This guide explains what cedar chips can do for your lawn and garden, as well as when to use them in different areas.

Fragrance and Aesthetics

Use cedar chips in areas where your friends and family hang out or in highly visible areas when you first bring the bags home. Place several layers of these chips in the following spots in your landscape to provide a colorful appearance and the fresh scent of cedar:

  • at the base of trees
  • inside flowerbeds
  • along walkways
  • at the base of shrubs
  • around pool tile

Weed Barrier

Place a couple layers of cedar chips around the perimeter of your home and below a raised deck to stunt the growth of weeds. Not only do cedar chips help prevent weed growth, but the fragrance will surround your home and deck area for a few months when you first bring the bags home.

Garden Supplementation

Move the cedar chips to the garden as you begin to notice their color fade and their scent dissipate. They'll prevent weeds and provide a more solid footing for you to walk around in, depending on whether you have muddy or wet areas in the garden.

In addition to weed prevention and providing a dry surface, cedar chips can stay in your garden for a year or more and provide beneficial bacteria and nutrition. Cedar chips are slow to decompose, so your garden's soil ecosystem draws out what it needs from the chips for a long time. The cellulose from this type of mulch remains in the soil for many years, even after you've removed the chips.   


Move the cedar chips to your compost pile after a year or two in the garden. The slow decomposition of cedar chips stimulates the microbiological population of your compost. Additionally, cedar chips help compost retain moisture, so they are a natural aeration tool for your compost.

Note the date when you first begin using cedar chips and when you move them to your garden, so that you'll know approximately when it's time to move them to the compost pile. An investment in a few bags of cedar chips can provide many benefits for your lawn and garden over a few years. Ask your landscaper for other use ideas for cedar chips.

For more information, contact Martin Landscaping or a similar company.