View Full Version : Bad Batch Of Mulch?

04-24-2012, 10:08 PM
I am fairly new to the lawn care industry. I have been mowing for a few years but just this year took on a few commercial contracts. I went and mulched a couple of them with brown mulch over the weekend and then we got some rain and I went back a few days after to take some pictures of the mulching and the rain had washed the brown dye out of the mulch. Its not terrible but its definitely noticeable. Customers have not said anything to be about it yet...but I assume they will. What gives?? Is this normal for brown mulch??...or do I need to go to my supplier (who has been making and selling mulch in this area for 20+ years) for a warranty of some sort?? Just sucks that I may need to re-do HOURS and HOURS of work!

Heres a picture to help show the issue...


04-24-2012, 10:11 PM
It was nice and brown like this when spread..


knox gsl
04-24-2012, 10:30 PM
I had that happen last summer, how long had it had to dry after being dyed? I went back and re-dyed my job a week or so after putting it down, looked good for several months after that. I have also found that shredded hardwood bark is much better than the recycled green waste like you have there.

04-24-2012, 10:34 PM
No idea how long it had dried for. The place I purchased it from must not have allowed it to dry long enough? I will have to look into how to dye the mulch so I can spiff it up and make it look good.

knox gsl
04-24-2012, 10:36 PM
I bought some dye from JDL and it worked great just use your sprayer. You can also get it through AM leonard but its alot cheaper at JDL.

04-24-2012, 10:40 PM
Perfect. I appreciate the fast response. Thats what I am gonna have to do.

...13 yards of mulch spread....and it all looks like its a year old!

knox gsl
04-24-2012, 10:59 PM
For best results spray the whole bed then go through with a rake then spray another layer. The dye is messy if you get it on the sidewalk so be careful.

04-25-2012, 12:22 AM
Dyed mulch needs about 24 hours to cure once it is applied before rain. The dye never has a chance to set while it is in the hot moist pile of mulch. It must be spread out for it to cure properly. The only time I have ever had an issue with mulch doing that is if a customer runs there irrigation the following morning after I mulch before it has time to fully cure.

04-25-2012, 10:33 PM
Just so you know, I worked for a huge commercial landscaper and we had this happen on close to 300 yards of mulch. If the company that sold you the mulch is reputable they will go out and re-dye epit for you or at least cover your costs. The mulch they sent you was not ready to use yet. This happens very often especially towards the middle to end of the mulch season during high demand. Good luck.

04-25-2012, 10:39 PM
I went and saw the manager of my mulch supplier and he said no problem you have a credit of 13 yards of mulch!

He recommended I go and rake the mulch. So I went and raked it all (took me a few hours) and it all looks brand new again. It was just the very top that had faded. Thank GOD!

lawns Etc
04-28-2012, 02:15 AM
Happens a lot of times when they get super busy they try not to dye certain types of wood as they don't let the dye penetrate as well as others. I've mulched entire lots and they were deep brilliant black today and you ride by two days later and it looks like root mulch ugly grey. Mulch magic is the product that you ate looking for to redye the stuff. Used it many times and works good.
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04-28-2012, 09:46 PM
I would never buy dyed mulch, natural double shredded in my opinion is better

04-28-2012, 11:45 PM
I would never buy dyed mulch, natural double shredded in my opinion is better

Agreed I really like the look of black mulch, but double ground is mulch finer and smother and won't fade like the dyed ones will so it's double ground for me also.

Think Green
04-29-2012, 03:46 PM
All natural mulches is being shredded with brown dies added to enhance the color. The wood products don't always match in fiber consistencies. The brown pigment isn't better penetrating as say black will be. Cypress mulches hold the red color a whole lot better.
The problem we are having in my area is quality of mulch in the bulk arena. We no longer are privy to double and triple hammered hardwoods. We can hardly get any pine products either. 3 cu.ft. bagged material is reduced down to the 2 cu.ft. bags for customer weight issues. The cost of the bag is way too high for normal competition.
The last time i used a gallon of mulch magic to dye back mulches, it was way too expensive and didnt cover very well. it looked more artificial and lesser in brown pigments to blend very well.

Think Green
04-29-2012, 06:18 PM
One more thing. The last time I purchased 10 cu.yds. of mulch and applied it to a commercial landscape, the stuff looked horrible. The bulk hardwood material looked great on the lot but after it was pull raked from the trailer to the wheel barrows, installed into the beds, things got worse.
After the irrigation and small rains settled the material it was a nightmare. The powdery material sank to the bottom of the 2 inches of mulch. The larger bulkier material stayed on top of course. The bottom line here is........I don't think the mulch quality will get any better with our embargo to quality mulches. The big ticket stores are getting the quality material in bags for a bigger price for the money.