Mulch options/questions...

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by toadcrack, May 3, 2006.

  1. toadcrack

    toadcrack LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    All -

    Newbie here - thanks for taking the time to read my question!

    I'm currently covering beds with pinestraw and am looking to move to a mulch. I'm primarily looking to mulch for ease of up-keep.

    I'm looking at the broad spectrum of mulches: natural cypress, cedar, shredded hardwood, shredded pine bark, dyed hardwood (red, chocolate, or gold), etc.

    Based of price and initial look, we're thinking of doing a mix between cypress and cedar. We have some concerns however, primarily the light color (fading, contrast, etc).

    So, here go the questions:

    Comparing the non-dyed options, which color fades the quickest or is it a relatively common rate from material to material? I understand that with the slow decay rate of cypress/cedar that color fading may become a problem as the color fades so quickly in comparison to the material break down. Any thoughts?

    My house is sand (light beige) with black shutters. I have basic shrubs around the house (pittosporum, indian hawthorne, helleri holly). I have varoius beds with 7 japanese maple varieties, river birch, and crape myrtle. Various perrenials are spread throughout. What color contrast will look best in such an environment? Is the natural cypress/cedar going to give enough contrast?

    Several people have recommended shredded hardwood to me. The problem is, at least with the bagged stuff from Lowes/HomeDepot, is that my wife thinks it looks like dirt/mud when its down. Its shredded SO fine and the color is nearly black. Is this correct for shredded hardwood?

    Also, is there any concern with washing/blowing away with shredded pine bark?

    Several landscapers have recommended going the bagged route over the bulk route to me simply for the ease of application. I need about 8 cubic yards...100 bags vs. hundreds of wheelbarrel loads from a driveway pile (less work).

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. Guthrie&Co

    Guthrie&Co LawnSite Senior Member
    from nc
    Posts: 784

    pine bark is useless when it comes to giving nutrient value to shrubs. heavy rain washes it away and dyed mulch looks like ass. i like a pine mulch but not a pine bark. pine mulch will give you the acid the acid loving plants need and the ones that dont like it can tolerate it. mulch will also help control soil temp and soil moisture, the pine mulch( not pine bark there is a diffrence) will also give somewhat of a pest resistance over hardwood mulch. thats been my experince and also education. i majored in horticulture in college
     
  3. VWBOBD

    VWBOBD LawnSite Member
    Posts: 223

    I RECENTLY SWAPPED MY MULCH TO RUBBERIFIC RUBBER MULCH AND I MUST SAY IT LOOKS VERY NICE. I DID LEAVE THE BROKEN DOWN REMNANTS OF MY PREVIOUS MULCH DOWN AND COVERED IT WITH A 2.5 INCH LAYER OF RUBBER TO KEEP SOIL TEMPS DOWN. THIS IS EXPERIMENTAL , IF IT WORKS OUT IM GOING TO PROVIDE THE SERVICE TO MY CLIENTS. IT LOOKS WAY BETTER THAN HARDWOOD , HAS A NICE DEEP EVEN COLOR AND NICE TEXTURE TOO. MY HOME LOOKS SO MUCH BETTER THAN MY NEIGHBORS.(NANANANA NA NA!!):cool2:
    IT COMES IN 1000LB BOXES AND IS EASY TO SHOVEL OUT OF THE BOX . I HAVE 9 YARDS AND IT IS QUITE EXPENSIVE BUT IT HAS A 10 YEAR WARRANTY ON COLOR RETENTION
     

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