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FAQ

Q. Does hardwood bark mulch attract termites?

A. This is probably our number one asked question. The answer is no. Termites are subterranean. They are only attracted to wood that is below the earth's surface. Since mulch is used above ground is does not attract them. Also the "bark" mulches are made from the bark on the trees and not the white wood that termites like to dine on.

Q. How often will I need to mulch?

A. This will depend on what kind of mulch you get and how fresh you like your landscape to look. To keep "bark" mulches looking fresh you will need to mulch once every year since they tend to break down quicker enriching the soil below. Colored mulches may fade. To keep them looking good you may need to top-dress them once every year. Top dressing is applying about an inch of material on top of existing material.

Q. Will mulch keep my beds weed free?

A. It will depend on your bed preparation. Mulch will help eliminate most of your weeds and make any that do come up easy to pull. For a totally weed free bed it is best to use a weed barrier and then put mulch on top of it.

Q. Why use mulch?

A. Many people use mulch for a decorative ground cover but don't realize the extra benefits it provides. Mulch helps retain moisture for the plants and acts as erosion control during heavy rains. It also provides a natural weed barrier that doesn't allow sunlight in. A mulch ground cover keeps temperatures in the soil moderate during the heat of summer, and frost protection for plants in winter. The best benefit of mulch, however, is the material it provides when it eventually breaks down and enriches the soil.

Q. When should I mulch?

A. Generally the best time to mulch is in the spring to get a good weed barrier down. A 2-3" top dressing is recommended but a 3-4" layer is necessary for new areas to aid in moisture retention. We recommend a light mulching in the spring and another light mulching in the fall to protect perennials for the winter. A general rule is that one cubic yard covers approximately 100 square feet, 2-3" deep. When applying playground mulch, it is recommended to be 9-12" deep for proper cushioning in case of falls.

Q. Are the dyed mulches safe to use?

A. Yes, the mulch is colored with non-toxic iron oxide based dyes that are found naturally in the earth's surface. It is safe for children, plants, and animals. However, under wet conditions the mulch could leave a slight stain on concrete driveways. We recommend you leave a tarp down for the delivery of the dyed mulches just to be safe.

Q. What should I do if I have a fungus growing on my bark?

A. A non-harmful fungus sometimes occurs naturally due to extreme heat and humidity. Simply clear the fungus away and treat the area with a mixture of 4 parts water to 1 part bleach.

Q. Do I need to be home for my delivery?

A. No, simply tell us where to dump the delivery when you call in your order and you can leave a check on the door for payment or pay over the phone with your credit card.

Q. Can you always deliver right where I specify?

A. We will place the mulch as close as possible to your preferred location, unless overhead wires, overhanging buildings or tree branches, or tight alleyways or parked cars prevent this. But for convenience and safety for both parties, we prefer to make deliveries to your driveway, as we are not responsible for incidental property damage or towing of our equipment if the delivery spot is other than the driveway.

Q. Is mulch detrimental to plant growth?

A. No. Using mulch will actually help your plants grow better by inhibiting weed growth and preventing weeds from breaking through the soil. Mulch also keeps the soil surface cool and helps it retain moisture. Another added bonus is the beauty and variety that mulch brings to your landscape.

Q. Why do gardeners bother to place mulch around landscaping plants? Is it simply due to the aesthetic appeal of mulch in the landscape?

A. Although mulch dramatically improves appearance; the primary reasons for mulching involve plant health and longevity. As most anyone who has experienced the results of gardening with and without mulch will attest, the results are remarkably different. Below is a list of the benefits of mulching:

  • Mulches prevent loss of water from the soil by evaporation.
  • Mulches reduce the growth of weeds, when the mulch material itself is weed-free and applied deeply enough to prevent weed germination or to smother existing weeds.
  • Mulches keep the soil cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, thus maintaining a more even soil temperature.
  • Mulches prevent the trunks of trees and shrubs from damage by lawn equipment.
  • Mulches help prevent soil compaction.
  • Mulches can add to the beauty of the landscape by providing a cover of uniform color and interesting texture to the surface.
  • Mulched plants have more roots than plants that are not mulched, because mulched plants will produce additional roots in the mulch that surrounds them.

Q. How much does a yard of product weigh?

A. Weights for products will vary due to moisture content. Typically, mulch products weigh between 400-800 lbs. per cubic yard; soil blends weigh between 2200-2700 lbs.

Q. When should I mulch?

A. While there is no bad time to mulch, there are things to consider. Early spring is the easiest time to mulch. The ground is soft making for easier spade edging of the beds and most perennials have yet to emerge so you can spread the mulch over the top and the perennials will come right up through.

Although early spring provides for an easier time of mulching you may wish to delay your project until certain trees and shrubs have blossomed and/or dropped their seeds. (Remember to clean out maple seeds prior to mulching… if you don’t you will have hundreds of baby maple trees growing in your beds come summer!) Some gardeners wait to mulch until they have trimmed their shrubs in late spring or early summer. If you delay till then you can do a less thorough job of cleaning out the clippings as you can simply mulch over the top of the small clippings left behind during cleanup.

Q. How should I mulch around my plantings?

A. It is important to note that mulch either in bags or bulk is hot. Organic material when piled produces heat as decomposition is occurring. If you spread this higher temperature mulch up against a young plant, you stand the risk of scalding or killing it. When mulching around young plants or plants with leaves touching the surface of the mulch it is especially important to cool down the mulch by applying water.

Q. How should I mulch around a tree?

A. Do not pile the mulch up the trunk. Covering the bark of the tree will rot away the tree's bark allowing for easier insect penetration and disease. It is best to mulch just a few inches deep right at ground level and make an appropriate ring to the size of the tree.

Q. How deep should I install mulch in my yard?

A. We recommend a depth of approximately two to three inches. This does not mean that you need to put down two to three inches of new mulch every year. When too much mulch is applied it prevents air and water from reaching the soil. This is detrimental for the health of your plants. The amount of mulch that is right for your property will vary depending on your current depth of mulch in your plant beds.