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Mulch... Single grnd vs. double grnd, hardwood vs. pine vs. cypress

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by JShe8918, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. JShe8918

    JShe8918 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    So many options when thinking about buying mulch! So i am about to buy mulch from one of two suppliers. They are both to far away for me to go visit. Both of them are right at 200 miles away. So i turn to lawnsite for advice. One supplier only does single ground mulch. Where the other offers only double ground mulches. First off what is the benefits of each? I know that double ground will have a more smooth appearance than single ground. Now for material type. I have read in numerous places that cypress mulch limits the amount of water that actually reaches the roots of a plant. So now i am down't to pine and hardwood. What is everyones professional opinion on these mulches?

    Thanks Jonathan
  2. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    well pine wood is softwood. so your mulch is going to breakdown faster than hardwood. And pine is generally less weight than hardwood, so when it rains, the rain will build up under the mulch and it will wash away. Believe me I know first hand. Last year I took a job working for another company when I thought I was going to sell my business, and we used pine bark mulch. We were doing an install at a place all summer long. The mulch we installed at the beginning of the year (May/June) was already over 50% deteriorated by september/october and we put down 2-3" layers. Then everytime it rained the mulch was all at the outside of the beds, or in the parking lots etc.

    Your hardwood will last you a season easily if you put it on right, and wont be so easy to get washed out from heavy rain. Single ground is going to look more like something woodchips, bigger chunks, not a lot of fine material. Double ground will look more like dirt almost, but with small wood chips mixed in.

    I prefer to use double ground hardwood brown mulch. Regular hardwood mulch, will be a light brown tha will turn to a greyish color in a few weeks. The brown mulch we get is dyed and has a deep chocolate brown color, and by the end of the year its still pretty dark so it looks nicer.

    Just note, that if you get dyed brown, find out if your getting natural mulch thats dyed or if your getting Enviro mulch, or recycled mulch or what have you. Thats basically reycled wood products (wood, pallets, etc) thrown through the grinder and dyed brown. Looks nice, but its garbage mulch. Doesn provide the natural nutrients for the plants like mulch
  3. JShe8918

    JShe8918 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    Everything you said makes perfect sense! Thank you very much for your input. I would like to hear other people experiences with each as well. I was leaning towards hardwood. Now i would like to hear what people have to say about single ground and double ground materials. I have seen tons of single ground products. No one in my area really uses double ground that i know of. I am striving to set myself appart from the other locals to try and build a larger clientel for my business.

    Thanks and God Bless,
  4. Keepin' It Green

    Keepin' It Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    I worked for a large mulch company for 5 years. Our top seller was double ground. I now own my own business and that's almost the only kind of mulch I use. I think double ground lays smoother and easier than single ground. Also, it looks much better than single ground. Single ground may last a little longer because it is more coarse, but not many people care about that if they pay to have someone install it. These people mainly focus on looks. Just be careful before you drive all that way to pick it up. I have seen some bad looking mulch. It all depends on what type of material they make it out of and what they use to grind it. I have also heard of mulch companies grinding other material (debris, sticks, logs) into the bark to get more bang for their buck. Good luck.
  5. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    Maybe keepin it green can chime in on this for me since hes worked at a mulch yard. When I first started out with my old supplier, I asked the difference between regular shredded hardwood and double shredded hardwood.

    They said that the shredded hardwood is really ran throuhg the grinder 2x's and the double shredded is actually ran through 3x's. Is that right or no?

    I prefer to use the double ground mulch, just gives a much nicer look than that of single ground mulch. However; there are times when i use the single ground. If there are mulch beds with a steeper inclines i might use the single instead since it will hold a little better not much, but 9/10 i use double ground.

    Here is a good picture comparison of the two difference types of mulch
    The first is double ground and the second is single ground. One is dyed ignore the color, but just look at the texture differences.


  6. ohiogreenworks

    ohiogreenworks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    Sounds like you need to open your own mulch depot if the closest ones are 200 miles away!
  7. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    i agree with that too. 200 miles is a long distance. Either that or get a place and just order like 90 yards from them to store. you will get it at a cheaper price, so you can make more money. But if your traveling 400 miles for a load of mulch, theres problems then
  8. Keepin' It Green

    Keepin' It Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27


    Yeah, you are mostly correct. Where I worked we only ground the mulch once to make single ground. This was because when we received the bark from the mill it was already ground and just had some bigger chunks in it. We ground it to make it a better consistency and a little less coarse. Then we ground it again to make double processed after it has sat for awhile to darken up. While it sits in a pile you have to water it to speed up the darkening process. Also, you have to churn all mulch when it is piled up because it can get to hot in the middle and actually start to burn. If this does happens, it get very dusty and have a nasty scent to it. If this happens and you mulch with it, it will kill the grass, plants and smaller tress that it is around.
  9. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 916

    around here double ground is 2 times threw a tree then let it sit and than a second time to make it a consistent size

    We do ours a couple different ways

    Here was us getting mulch ready yesterday

  10. JShe8918

    JShe8918 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    Thanks guys. Well we have one 100 miles away in brent however they tend to be a pain to deal with. They never get your yardage correct and the prices are ever changing depending on who i talk to! They only do single ground but the price is only 200 more to have a 90 yard truck brought in of double ground from twice the distance. They are going to be opening up a mulch depo 15 miles from my house in the middle of the summer. HOWEVER they said they aren't sure whether they are going to be selling it in bulk there or if they are going to do just bags. They sell to pretty mulch all the HD, Lowes, walmarts, etc. Pretty much if you buy mulch in a bag in alabama it is 9 outta ten times coming from them.

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