What type of mulch for 1790's home?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by chrisludwig, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. chrisludwig

    chrisludwig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Customer looking for mulch to go with their restored 1790's home. They had a grey gravel before. I suggested pine needles as something different.
    Any other suggestions or recommendations on where to find info on what was fitting for that time period?
  2. adrian

    adrian LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    In colonial Williamsburg VA they use shells, but I don't know if that would work in your situation
  3. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,800

    Black mulch ,, looks classy.
  4. betmr

    betmr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,663

    Regular triple shredded mulch. If you want original...I doubt if they mulched in the 1700's, and probably mowed with a sythe.
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Yep, just go with a good hardwood mulch.

    I maintain a house that was built in 1860. I found pictures of the area from the 1900's but I figured out that there wasn't much for landscaping back then.

    If you want references, look at some old European homes from that era or older. The only thing I could come up with for my property is a Victorian Style landscape to fit with the time period of the home.
  6. g21

    g21 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    you might want to talk to them about not having mulch at all if they really want to preserve the spirit and integrity of the antique look and feel of the property. There is nothing more beautiful than dirt beds that always have a crisp edge and are weed-free.

    I used to take a "scuffle hoe" to the beds just to lightly turn the dirt and keep them fresh-looking. It will really stand out on their street. A little more labor intensive, but if they back the cost of the mulch out, they can add that money for the additional labor to your contract. Your margins on the job go up and they have a better more "distinct" look.
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Tommy, wouldn't you think mulch would help for weed control ???

    Even at the farmhouse property I manage, a good dose of mulch goes a long way. That property is on a 2 year mulch cycle.

    Now, I will say after about 6 months it looks more naturalized, especially after I till it a few times to turn it over it gets darker and more of the appearance of fresh loose soil.
  8. g21

    g21 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    Yes, mulch does offer a little weed control...but just a little and only in the beginning. If mulch beds go unattended, they will have weeds as well. So once you put your plant-beds or tree rings on a weekly regiment of spot-spraying, it really doesn't matter. And as you rake your dirt beds once every two or three weeks, the raking (that you can't do with mulch beds) usually pulls up or disturbs most baby weeds before they become unsightly. If you don't normally do this, and your customer is up for the experiment, given the architecture of the home, you should try it. I'm telling you it will really make the home stand out. I would recommend everyone taking one account and trying it.
  9. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Oh, I'm definitively not disagreeing with you about the aesthetics of a natural bed, especially when the beds have masses of plantings and ground cover to help control weed germination.

    Ultimately I like mulch mainly for the moisture control aspects, especially in wide open areas that take a beating from the elements. My clients tend to like the high quality mulch thrown about the time they have a gathering or party at their property to get the best look while using a mulch as cover. Maintained properly and you can get two years out of an application of mulch on larger beds, and up to three on smaller beds.

    You should go into the organic section Tommy. There are guys in there that are using well processed compost as mulch with excellent results. I think that is a good balance esthetically with getting the benefits of mulch, and the appearance of natural earth. Here, ISU offers a sweet earth mulch that is extremely fine and coal black.
  10. BearWise Landscapers

    BearWise Landscapers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    I bet the home looks nice. Post a picture of it and the mulch beds when you get a chance.

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