How to Put Pecan Mulch to Good Use

How to Put Pecan Mulch to Good Use

Pecan Orchards

 Love pecans? We’ve got a whole new idea for how to use what’s left of them! Whether you’re interested in sprucing up your landscape, supplying your vegetable garden with nutrients or adding a whole new dimension of flavor to grilled foods, don’t get rid of those pecan shells! That is what creates pecan mulch, which has proven to be dark, aesthetically attractive, nutrient-rich organic mulch that many plants love!

Why is Pecan Mulch becoming popular?

Pecan growers that process their pecans in-house have a few different options available to them. They can discard the shells and add more waste to the landfills, have an outside company come in and pick up the shells to use as they wish, or they can create mulch from it. Many are choosing the latter because it’s a better option for all involved, including the environment.

Because pecan mulch is organic, it breaks down naturally over time. Because this type of mulch has a rich, dark appearance and takes longer to break down than traditional wood mulches, it tends to be a popular choice. It also helps: 

  • Keep soil loose around plants so roots can prosper 
  • Soil retain moisture so that plants are well hydrated 
  • Deter weeds 
  • Provides nutrients to plants 
  • Lower the pH level in soil

With so many benefits, it’s really not all that hard to understand why pecans continue to become more popular around the world.

Can I make my own pecan mulch?

Yes, you can make your own mulch. Making mulch from pecans is just going to be a bit more difficult than others because you have to go through a LOT of pecans in order to get enough shells to create a significant amount of mulch. If you have a lot of pecans to shell, simply take the discarded shells, add them to your compost pile, turn the compost every now and then and allow time for the shells to break down.

Now, imagine this on a much larger scale than your back yard compost bin. Pecan growers and processors have a great deal more space. In addition to having a larger scale operation, some processors use commercial grinders to help chop pecan shells into smaller sizes, thereby speeding the breakdown process. It’s not really necessary, but some consumers do prefer finer mulch. Pecan shells can also be somewhat sharp, so breaking them down can help alleviate that issue, making it easier to spread with the hands.

Where can I use pecan mulch?

Whether you have flower beds, flower pots, raised fruit or vegetable beds or a full-scale garden, pecan mulch is a great choice. Not only will it provide an aesthetically pleasing look to your plants, it will provide added nutrients to your soil as well.

For potted plants, simply spread about an inch over the top of the soil to help retain moisture. For plant beds, spread the mulch in a deeper, 3-inch layer to help soil retain moisture and prevent weeds. Again, the size of the shells in the mulch is irrelevant, so it’s really more a matter of personal preference.

As previously mentioned, this mulch doesn’t break down as quickly as other common favorites, but for those that do not like to spend a great deal of time on their landscape, this is a bonus. It won’t require much replacement throughout the year and unless you till it into the soil in the spring, you can likely get another year’s use from it with only minor amounts required to keep it at the 3-inch depth.

Perk up your plants and patio area!

It really is amazing how a little bit of mulch can give landscaping a whole new look. That’s the beauty of nature. It provides us with pretty packaging for edible delights, and it makes sure that both full of nutrients that we can use in so many ways.

Whether you are interested in replenishing your soil to breathe new life into perennial plants, or creating a warmer and more inviting landscape, pecan mulch can help you achieve your goal. It’s attractive, takes more time to break down than many of the more common mulch options and is very eco-friendly.