Is Gorilla Hair Mulch Good For Your Vegetable Garden?

Gardeners and landscapers often choose Gorilla hair mulch for its aesthetic appeal that comes from its unique red-brown hue. You may be wondering if you should use it in your vegetable garden. We have thoroughly reviewed the available information and have found some answers.

For gardens on an even landscape in good climate and soil conditions, gorilla hair mulch is not one of the top recommendations.

However, there are a few conditions where shredded wood mulch may be the best choice.

  • Choose gorilla hair mulch for gardening on a slope
  • Shredded wood mulch protects plants in hot and dry climates
  • Use Gorilla hair mulch to improve sandy, fast-draining soil
  • Gorilla hair mulch can be used to control weeds on garden pathways

Gorilla hair mulch could be an attractive addition to any garden. We'll dig deeper into whether there are other reasons you should use this mulch for your vegetables.

Keep reading as we discuss the benefits and disadvantages of gorilla hair mulch. We'll also discuss what types of mulch are recommended more often for vegetables.

What Kind Of Mulch Is Gorilla Hair?

Mulching garden beds with red cedar wood chip mulch

Gorilla hair mulch that is made from cedar or redwood trees. It's so finely shredded that it resembles gorilla or monkey hair. In addition to gorilla hair, landscapers and gardeners refer to this mulch as shredded mulch, monkey hair mulch, gorilla grass, cedar, or redwood mulch.

Most experts agree that it's a sustainable source of mulch since it's made as a by-product of wood production. As it is made from the leftover bark of the trees, they are not usually cut down specifically for the mulch. Check the package or manufacturer's website to be sure of the sourcing.

Should You Use Shredded Mulch In A Vegetable Garden?

The fine shreds interlock and tamp down over time, making it a dense, compact cover. Because it's so dense, it may not allow enough water and air into the soil and cause problems for some vegetables. 

Though many experts do not recommend this type of mulch for a traditional vegetable garden, wood mulch can and is used in certain gardening situations such as food forests, sloping gardens, extreme climates, or sandy, fast-draining soil.

Shredded redwood mulch traps nitrogen and minerals in the soil. Landscapers and gardeners will choose gorilla mulch since it is a natural pesticide it provides natural protection for the low-lying leaves and stems.

For more about using cedar mulch to protect against pests, read our article, "Does Cedar Mulch Repel Bugs? How Effective Is It?"

Choose Gorilla Hair Mulch For Gardening On A Slope

The dense fibrous nature of shredded mulch makes it an excellent choice for slopes. If your garden is on a steep incline, it can help to keep moisture in the soil. The texture of the shreds creates a compact material that also stays in place.

For this reason, gardeners will also choose gorilla hair mulch for windy climates or in conditions where nugget or wood chip mulch may not attach. For very steep inclines, combine with jute netting for best results.

Click here to see an example of jute burlap netting on Amazon.

Shredded Wood Mulch Protects Plants In Hot And Dry Climates

If your garden is hot, dry climate, gorilla hair mulch may be a better choice for heartier plants. The layer that forms is so compact and uniform that it reduces the need for watering, which is essential, mainly if you rely on natural resources for irrigation. 

The fibers in the mulch both prevent evaporation in hot climates keeping the moisture around the plants. When you use gorilla mulch around vegetables, it is essential to frequently check the moisture in the soil as it can do its job too well and not allow moisture through or enough moisture to leave.

The dense nature also provides insulation for the soil and will keep it from getting too hot. Conversely, it can help in extremely cold climates by trapping warmth in the soil.

Use Gorilla Hair Mulch To Improve Sandy, Fast-Draining Soil

Finely shredded wood mulch can improve the soil over time. Though some experts worry about nitrogen content in wood mulch, if it's used as part of a natural layering system, it will break down and provide richer, slower-draining soil.

 Spreading gorilla hair mulch over grassy and sandy areas will break down the grass and weeds and will not allow new growth. It is a no-till less labor-intensive option for clearing future planting areas and creating better soil.

Gorilla Hair Mulch Can Be Used To Control Weeds On Garden Pathways

The best place for gorilla hair mulch may be the pathways or between raised beds in your vegetable garden. The texture firms over time and does well in high-traffic areas. Shredded mulch keeps weeds and grasses from growing. Many growers enjoy the color of the mulch contrasted against the plants for a show-worthy garden.

Click here to see an example of gorilla hair mulch on Amazon.

The Best Mulch To Prevent Weeds In A Vegetable Garden?

Vegetable garden in late summer. Herbs, flowers and vegetables in backyard formal garden, Is Gorilla Hair Mulch Good For Your Vegetable Garden?

The primary purpose of mulch is to prevent weeds in the garden. The most popular mulch materials for a vegetable garden are shredded leaves, compost, or straw.

If you use wood mulch, choose shredded or gorilla hair over the wood chip or nugget mulch for vegetables. Expert gardeners agree that the smaller and finer the mulch, the faster it will start contributing to the soil.

When adding mulch for vegetables, it is also essential that it is properly sourced. Do not use mulch from construction waste or unknown sources, as it may contain chemicals in the treated wood.

What Mulch Is Best For Tomatoes?

Compost with composted earth

Tomatoes do well with various materials, but most experts recommend grass clippings or compost as the best choice. Create your own mulch for your tomatoes with this leaf blower and mulcher combo. Use the mulch on its own or a compost layer for the best results.

Click here to see a mulching system on Amazon.

Which Mulch Is Best For Cucumbers?

Coconut substrate peat and coconut chips with fibers

Cucumbers may be a plant that reacts well to combining mulching methods. If you mix mulch with a plastic material, do not mulch in the summertime, as it can break down too quickly and cause unwanted insects in the soil

Spread your chosen mulch around the cucumber plants avoiding the stems. Allowing any kind of mulch to touch the delicate cucumber stems can cause rot. Like tomatoes, grass clippings or newspaper are inexpensive, safe options for mulching around cucumbers.

What Kind Of Mulch Is Used In A Food Forest

Full frame view of wood chip mulch

A type of vegetable garden that is gaining popularity in recent years is the food forest system. It allows for planting different vegetables, fruits, and other types of plants together to provide the natural levels of the forest.

The design is intended to create a garden that is ever improving and is said to create better soil and growing conditions.

Mulches from wood sources are often used in the beginning stages and strategically throughout this type of gardening to control weeds and change soil composition.

Since it is a long-lasting mulch, gorilla hair mulch can be laid down years in advance to prepare for future gardening areas and provides a suitable forest floor.

If you plan to have mushroom beds as part of your vegetable garden or food forest, gorilla hair mulch would not be a good match for those areas, as redwood and cedar are considered aromatic woods and resistant to mushrooms.

Use hardwood mulch in areas where you are growing mushrooms along with your plants.

In Conclusion

Vegetable garden in late summer. Herbs, flowers and vegetables in backyard formal garden


Now that you know whether gorilla hair mulch would be good for your garden and the best situations and places in your garden to use it, find your source. It will last a long time, protect your garden, and may create great soil for years.

Made it to the end? You may also be interested in the following.

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