Mulch dye

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Hardy Enterprises, Mar 27, 2001.

  1. Hardy Enterprises

    Hardy Enterprises LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    Has anybody ever used mulch dye to freshen up beds? Did it look good? How long does it last?


    FIREMAN LawnSite Senior Member
    from n.j.
    Messages: 318

    A nieghbor of mine asked me to order him some mulch dye from landscapers supply....I did...but never again.....It is like painting grass looks great for a couple of weeks then looks terrible..also it stains concrete and shoes. Watch for will bleed color every time it rains..and can stain walks or pavers even after the initial application..
  3. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    Mulch dyes when applied properly can last anywhere from 4-6 months.

    Good Luck this season!
  4. fireball

    fireball LawnSite Member
    from ne Pa
    Messages: 172

    I agree with kutnkru. When applied the right way, it works like a charm. This product is not for the careless person. If you make a mistake, soap and water will not make it go away, you will look at that spot or footprint for at least the next nine months. Application equipement makes all the difference in the world. We started with solo backpack sprayers, went to 50 gallon sprayers, then to 3 gallons spray docs, and finally to 1 gallon B&G stainless steel sprayers that the pest control guys use($210.00 each at Lesco)The unit shuts off at the tip so there is no dripping and with the fine mist you get the right coverage. You have to "paint" in two perpindicular directions to get the right coverage. You will find that if you do it the right way, the cost of the dye comes to 84% of the cost of fresh mulch at 18.00 per cubic yard. What you do save is cost of installation of the mulch. You usually can only apply this technique in areas where the customers have accepted the use of dyed recycled mulch already.
    My suggestion to you is to sell the customer on using large pine bark nuggetts instead of mulch. Twice a year you spray the nuggetts with the dye and they look brand new. At worst, you might have to add two bags of nuggetts per year for the typical house as compared to 5 yds of mulch.
    I'll never go back to mulch again. Disadvantage to this is that it takes a little more skill to getting leaves out of the beds in the fall
  5. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    I saw a guy at a commercial building using a backpack sprayer in the beds and he was shooting dye. His application was streaky and uneven, he sprayed over plants, and walked through where he just sprayed tracking it all over. Didn't look good to me, but as fireball and kris said, properly applied should look good.

  6. Jasonn B

    Jasonn B LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Messages: 148

    Any updates on this mulch dye? How is it today? Any recommended products?
  7. Stuttering Stan

    Stuttering Stan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    I used it last week for the first time. IMO, it's a pain to use. The spray tip kept clogging and it was difficult to get a even spray. Because it is a dye, everything it comes into contact with turns brown, including your hands, the sprayer, boots, concrete, shrubs.
    Next time I'll apply new much, less hassle than dye.
  8. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 998

    I had an elderly couple order some mulch, I dyed it black for them off site before it was installed as they had changed their mind. It wasn't worth the time and effort. Anyway, after one winter the following spring, the mulch was gray. So, the 86 year old owners decided to spray paint the top of it with gloss black, lol.
  9. Jasonn B

    Jasonn B LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Messages: 148

    LOL, I bet that won't hold up with spray paint?

    I remember reading some of that dye is really good and really does work, but who knows which brand is good and works?
  10. WGrnd21

    WGrnd21 LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 73

    dying mulch is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. The point of mulch is to help the plants. putting chemicals into the soil is not in the interest of the plants. Mulch should be applied one a year which will give it the fresh look it needs. Just take a rake and shuffle the mulch around that will make it look nicer.

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