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Is it safe to use mulch on my vegetable garden?

FellowsIt is always helpful to mulch garden beds to inhibit weeds, retain moisture, moderate soil temperatures, and prevent erosion. Mulches made from wood fiber may be sourced in one of three categories:

1. Natural Forest Products: representing virgin wood materials derived as a byproduct of timber harvests and untreated mill operations.

2. Reprocessed/Recycled Wood Products: wood sourced from grinding fabricated consumer or industrial products. Sources may include wood from pallets, construction and/or demolition materials that (1) have not been treated with preservatives, stain or paint; (2) contain no materials whose original manufacturer recommends against grinding or mulching; and (3) are not contaminated with any hazardous or other regulated substances.

3. Mulch Blends: bark, wood products, or reprocessed wood products containing more than one genus or a mix of forest products and/or reprocessed wood that have been mechanically screened and/or shredded. If reprocessed wood products are used in any portion of a blend, such use must be indicated on the product ingredient label.

The source of product ingredients should be displayed on the product packaging and both natural and properly reprocessed wood mulch, or mulch blends, should be suitable for use in a vegetable garden.

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