Peanut shells – Mulch

Q: We have been told that peanut shells are not good for mulch in flower beds because they attract nematodes. Is this the case?

A: Peanut shells don’t attract nematodes but they might bring them in from where they were grown. Peanut farmers wage a constant battle with nematodes. The tiny soil worms attack their crop at any chance. Some, but not all, of the nematodes that damage peanuts can harm landscape and garden plants. Unless you know specifically that the peanut shells come from nematode-free fields or that they have been treated to eliminate nematodes, I wouldn’t use them.