Mulch causing fungus?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by JoeinJasper, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. JoeinJasper

    JoeinJasper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    I was talking to the general manager at a car dealership, trying to put in a bid for a maintaince contract. He said they would have to do something about the mulch because it was causing fungus on the cars. Has anyone heard of this? Could any one type of mulch be better in this situation (less dusty, less rain splatter...)? Or is he just imaging things... Thanks, Joe
  2. PLM-1

    PLM-1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,640

    I've never heard of it on the cars. sometimes the mulch grows *****' as my mom says. I'm not sure there is anything you can do about it though.
  3. JoeinJasper

    JoeinJasper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    Thanks for the input. Joe
  4. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    I suppose that it's possible that the mulch could be supporting an artillery-like fungus, that when it releases its spores the spores end up stuck to the car....

    The cars themselves shouldn't be capable of supporting mold/fungal growth, at least not on the outside. Unless of course they don't wash the cars at all.:D

  5. JoeinJasper

    JoeinJasper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    Thanks, Dan. I hadn't thought of that. Do you think that pine straw would be better than pine bark mulch in that situation? Maybe it would have better air flow and less fungul growth...
  6. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    I don't know about the pine straw.... I've never used it.:)

  7. polecat63

    polecat63 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,655

    Pine straw stinks IMHO. Especially in a commercial application. It' fades quickly and is impossible to keep clean of debris. Try using brown dyed mulch (yeah, I know) I haven't seen any fungus growing an any I've installled. It will also retain it's color for a longer period of time. Just realize it requires a little extra to obtain the same coverage of regular mulch.
  8. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    i agree with the not caring for pine straw, BUT it is extremely popular here.
    we will apply 3-5thousand bales this year.

    we try and switch people over to shredded hardwood, or cypress. but is is almost twice as much/area.

    pine bark nuggets, shredded, or in full pieces is a terrible mulch, as far as the functions of mulch goes.
    ever consider treating with a fungicide like rubigan, etc?
  9. TotalCareSolutions

    TotalCareSolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 518

    I agree w Felix. Mulch probably provides an excellent breeding ground for fungus and although fungus spores are airborne and really everywhere, the car would not be a host. Thats an interesting observation from a car salesman though, it could be a pollen of sorts.

    I like pinestraw for certain applications, it's easy and you can quickly spuce up a property. To think that it's "airy" and is less likely to provide an environment for fungus, I would say is misguided. Once the pinestraw is down and the elements get to it, it becomes like a moist blanket, under which you have an excellent place for all sorts of good stuff.

    Be careful using wood chips, shreds (dyed or other) and the like if your going to have flowers and ornamentals installed. When many of these wood types breakdown, the process actually takes nutrients (primarily nitrogen) from the ground and your more fragile plants can suffer, depending on the size of the area, this could be represent a considerable loss. As yardpro stated, hardwood or cypress is good. I think you could consider bark, depending on the terrain. You can also nitrolize your other wood mulches w some fert.
  10. ltlm

    ltlm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    how about putting done some rock or stone for mulch there so many kinds out there and it adds color

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