last years mulch any good?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by tjcezar, Apr 3, 2004.


    CHEVYCRAIG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    Tj where do ya get the mulch? heard the some one off of price town road for 15.00 for black dyed but can't rember the name.
  2. Ice_Gargoylle

    Ice_Gargoylle LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 60

    the problem with "old" mulch isnt mold or color. the olde the mulch the sooner it turns to dirt. you'll have to go look at it to see if its any good. youve prolly noticed sometimes mulch has more larger pieces, others it has some larger pieces bu alot of "heavy" dust. the later is older mulch. it wont last as long.

    if you remulch every year, this shouldnt be a problem, if not, the mulch will be gone.
  3. polecat63

    polecat63 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,655

    Mulch that sits for long periods of time will being to produce a chemical harmful to plants. Can't remember exactly what it is right now. If he turned it during the winter it should be fine, but why risk killing your clients plants?
  4. polecat63

    polecat63 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,655

    Ok, I found it. The term for it is "sour mulch" and it's caused by mulch that ahs been sitting too long, with too much moisture. The mulch be comes toxic to plants...

    "Toxicity of sour mulch is caused by by-products of the decomposition process, such as methane, alcohol, ammonia gas, or hydrogen sulfide gas, that build up to levels toxic to plant growth. Symptoms of mulch toxicity occur within 24 hours after application and include marginal leaf chlorosis, leaf scorch, defoliation, and/or death of plants. "

    (Originally published by Mary Ann Hansen, Diagnostician, Plant Clinic, and Jim May, Research Associate, CSES, in The Virginia Gardener Newsletter, Volume 11, Number 7.)
  5. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    That's the first I'd ever heard of "sour mulch"

    Somehow I doubt it's ever a problem. Something tells me that the study was an "extreme" example. You'd have to be going straight from the pile to the bed, with little turning involved, and I doubt that most woody plants would be harmed. Perennials and annuals possibly....

    Have you got a link to that story? I'd like to read it, somehow I'm just not buying it....

  6. polecat63

    polecat63 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,655

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