Mulch Coloring

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by mgoblue, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. GravelyWoman

    GravelyWoman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    I am sorry, I did not see the answer to the question about, "Is this your company?"
  2. mgoblue

    mgoblue LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Not my company, just sharing what I used. Two days work for 3 guys with $5,000 profit and the customer was happy with the money they saved. They now reality is they will probably use new mulch every 2nd to 3rd year, but if they can cut the mulch budget in half every other year it is a nice win.

    The color held up well over the summer, and as a reminder we double sprayed by spraying once, tilling, then re-spraying.
  3. GreenGiant94

    GreenGiant94 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 271

    Thanks for sharing. This might be a dumb question. Is there any type of chemical in the dye that requires you to have a license to be able to put it down? Thanks
  4. mgoblue

    mgoblue LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Called the manufacturer to pose this question to them this morning. Here is a summary of their answer to me. In summary the answer is that it does not contain anything that would require special licensing.

    Colored mulch is synthetic pigment used in numerous industries (construction, plastics, pharmaceuticals) that is combined with a polymer binder that helps it stick versus pure water that would help disperse the color but not make it bind.
  5. karlgrooms

    karlgrooms LawnSite Member
    Messages: 140

    Well... I am curious but kind of concerned about the synthetic and polymer portions. I wonder if continued use would eventually lead to soil problems, or seal off the mulch so that you have chunks of mulch that never break down or not let water etc. in. The site made no mentions of benefits of use. I would like to try but i have a tendency to over think things.
  6. mgoblue

    mgoblue LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    First I can tell you from my experience it doesn't seal off the surface, or seal off the mulch. The mulch does still break down over time. I still expect every couple years to have to place new mulch, but this might work as an every other year cost savings for the customer, and increased profit (less competition) item for me.

    Made another call to the manufacturer and learned more than I ever want to know about mulch color. In addition to construction, this is the same base pigment used in cosmetics (including lipstick), pills, and coloring plastics. The polymer is basically glue, that makes it adhere to the mulch instead of just running through into the ground. The product is a modified version of the same stuff they sell to the big mulch processors that color the mulch we already buy.

    You got me thinking about this so I also went out and found this on a couple of cosmetic sites which I think we can translate into our industry for safe usage. "The FDA also includes Iron Oxides on its list of indirect food additives considered Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)." The questions here have helped me get further educated, hope this settles your concerns.
  7. GreenGiant94

    GreenGiant94 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 271

    Thanks for looking into all that for us! I found a different company and i like their website better. Its Earthshades. Have you looked at this company at all. What made you choose hippy?
  8. mgoblue

    mgoblue LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I had tried Earth Shades and Mulch Renu before settling on Hippy Mulch. The Hippy Mulch seems to have a much better binder and not just run through the material (less waste). When we install, we spray once, use a hand tiller to roll and turn the mulch, and spray a final time. The price for all of them is just a couple cents per square foot so material cost is really not the top issue for me. Finally their color card and names make my customers laugh which helps sell the process easier.
  9. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Messages: 950

    We've tried coloring mulch before. It works, but the problems begin when you need to re-enter the beds to hand weed or spray. The places where you step or disturb the newly colored mulch now have a very different color. Can become a real problem,especially if you have traffic in the beds. Good Luck.

    DIXIECONTRACTING LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 283

    Along those lines if you spray a chemical application such as round up will that have any affect on the coloring ?

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