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A fire-smart landscaping tip from UC Marin Master Gardeners

  • Mulch is material spread over the surface of the soil to help reduce water evaporation, add organic material to soil, suppress weeds, reduce erosion and compaction, and help maintain a more even soil temperature and health. 
  • 0 feet to 5 feet from your house use non-combustible mulch such as stone, rock, pavers, decomposed granite, or gravel.
  • 5 feet to 30 feet from your home, composted wood chips are considered the best choice for residential landscapes. Limit mulch depth to two inches. Separate wood chip areas with non-combustible hardscaping materials to slow the spread of fire. 
  • 30 feet and beyond from your home use larger, composted, or non-composted wood chips or bark nuggets up to a depth of 3 inches.
  • Hazardous mulches to avoid include shredded western red cedar (gorilla hair) or pine needles. Do not use any fine, stringy mulches. They will burn faster than larger chunks.

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