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What is Redwood Bark Groundcover?

By Shannon Kietzman
Updated May 16, 2024
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Redwood bark groundcover is a type of groundcover that is made from redwood trees. Groundcover is often used in gardening in order to provide a protective layer against weed growth. It also helps the garden soil stay moist and maintain the proper temperature for optimum plant growth.

Groundcover made from redwood bark has a high level of acidity. Therefore, it is even better at keeping weeds away than some other natural forms of groundcover. For the same reason, it is particularly beneficial in gardens with acid loving plants, such as rhododendrons and blueberries.

The bark is usually available in shredded form, which clings together. Consequently, it will not wash away during a heavy rainstorm. It is also ideal for use on slopes and hillsides, because it holds together almost like a mat, and cannot be washed or blown away easily.

The fact that shredded redwood bark groundcover sticks together also makes it exceptional at retaining water. In this way, it helps prevent plants from drying out. This is particularly beneficial during the summer months, when the days can be long and dry. In addition, the groundcover is helpful to the gardener who cannot routinely get outside to water his or her garden.

When used in a garden, redwood bark groundcover should ideally be spread so that it is 4 to 6 inches (about 10.16 to 15.24 centimeters) deep. The deeper it is, the better, as it provides improved control of weed growth and retention of water. Unlike many forms of groundcover, redwood bark will not hurt nearby plants, although some space should be left around the stems to prevent too much moisture from building up. The bark should not be used to amend the soil, because its oil content is too high.

Redwood bark groundcover is similar to cedar groundcover in many ways. The colors are nearly the same, and both have the same properties. Redwood will last about twice as long as cedar, however, so it is not necessary to replace it as often as cedar or many other forms of natural groundcover.

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