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UC Marin Master Gardeners share gardening tips specific to mulching. Considering the type of mulch to use and where to use it in your yard, will reduce wildfire risk.

Mulch is material that is spread over the surface of the soil to help reduce water evaporation, add organic material to soil, reduce erosion and compaction, and help maintain a more even soil temperature and health. Tips for placement:

Zero 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 house: composted wood chips are considered the best choice for residential landscapes. Limit mulch depth to two inches. Separate wood chip areas with non-flammable hardscaping materials such as decomposed granite, gravel, rocks, and flagstone. 

30 feet and beyond from your house: use larger, composted or non-composted wood chips or bark nuggets up to a depth of 3 inches.

Avoid these hazardous mulches:

  • shredded western red cedar (gorilla hair)
  • pine needles

Do not use any fine, stringy mulches, they burn faster than larger chunks.

Visit Marin Master Gardeners for more fire-smart landscaping information:

Fire Safe Marin

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