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Cocoa Bean Shells as Mulch

I am planning on adding a thick layer of cocoa bean mulch to my perennial garden.  Should I plant the perennial seeds in the mulch or soil?

Always plant your seeds and transplants in soil.  Place the mulch around the seeded areas or transplants to conserve moisture and reduce weed problems.  Be careful not to cover the seeds with mulch.  This can prevent sprouting.  Don't bury the crown of the plants or you may have problems with stem rot.  Start with a thin, one to two inches, layer of cocoa beans.  A thin layer of this fine textured mulch will keep out weeds and conserve moisture.  An excessively thick layer of mulch can smell, keep the plants too wet and increase the risk of slime mold.  The slime mold grows on wet mulch.  It won't hurt the plant but it looks awful.  Pet owners may want to avoid using this mulch as veterinarians have reported illness and death of dogs who consumed this mulch.


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