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  1. #1

    Default What kind of mulch and why?

    Was wondering what everyone else uses to mulch home landscaping...we've got over 20 acres and have landscaped areas at various locations around the property. We have planted beds around the house, garage, barn, pond and at the end of the driveway about a 1/4 mile away. My problem is that the wife can't seem to make up her mind about what she likes best and has had me use different types of mulch everywhere, but has now decided she would like a more uniform look to everything and wants to use one type for all of her plantings. My caveat; no wood mulch around the house (or very close to it) because of the termite concern. We currently have red brick chips around the house and garage...looks nice, little to no maintenance, but expensive initially. There is also places that have hardwood mulch, pine mulch, pine straw, pine bark nuggets, red shredded tire mulch and also brown pea gravel. Hardwood and pine mulch are readily available in this area as are brick chips. A friend of mine in PA uses something called "Mushroom Dirt" (I think thats what it's called). Anyway, I'm leaning toward the brick chips because it provides a good contrast with the gray of the house and it doesn't blow around or decay, however, the natural mulches seem to retain moisture and prevent weeds better. Does anyone have a better solution before I start to dig in? I'm sure there's some type I've overlooked. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: What kind of mulch and why?

    Sounds like you've covered about everything, except ground rubber - which some are using now. Long-leaf pine needles (fresh reddish-color initially) are my personal choice. Some use Cedar or Cypress mulch around their home to prevent the termite issue you spoke of, although some type of decaying matter is better for the soil. If I had as much area as you to look after, price would probably be the deciding factor.

  3. #3
    Advertiser sweettractors's Avatar
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    Default Re: What kind of mulch and why?

    We have creek gravel/rock around our house and out past the sidewalks, around the Gazebo, around the small trees, Rose garden and decks we have always used cypress mulch with good results. This year, she wanted to try this Black (Dyed) mulch because it was suppose to control weeds better than the natural colored cypress. Guess what, It is worse. Stay away from the Dyed Black mulch at Lowes or Walmart. We are spraying roundup and sprinkling Preen this afternoon. Ken Sweet
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  4. #4
    Veteran Member scoutcub's Avatar
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    Default Re: What kind of mulch and why?

    I just moved to a newer house that has no landscaping and am faced with the same decision. My last house we used the black dyed mulch, which I think looks good (at least initially) because it offsets any color house or landscaping. But, if not re-applied every year, it would dry up and always get o the lawn.....sometimes a real pita. A neighbor had the red shredded rubber, which was nice but it would settle requiring more, and the dye seemed to wear off.

    If I had my druthers with all types I've seen, I'd do the black lava rock, it's a 1 time application, but also $$$$$.
    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
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    Default Re: What kind of mulch and why?

    I just use the free stuff from the local trimmers that do the power lines in our area. Around here, all you gotta do is ask, and if they're in your area and no one else has spoken for some, they will dump.

    Only catch, because most of it is green, you have to wait a year to use it around vegitation and younger trees because the acidity of the green wood/leaves breaking down will kill plants. More mature trees it's ok. And it does turn a nice black color over a year. But most importantly it is FREE.
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  6. #6
    Bronze Member merlintractor's Avatar
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    Default Re: What kind of mulch and why?

    Agree, go for the free stuff; in the end it doesn't really matter unless you're into the aesthetics of color, chip size, etc. Most counties maintain public mulch piles where road crews dump their chipped cuttings.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: What kind of mulch and why?

    All of ours is just right around the foundation of the House. We used a tandem load of river rock. The rock ranges from marble to egg in size. Lots of wheel barrowing from the driveway to the house; didn't have the kubota at the time.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member J_J's Avatar
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    Default Re: What kind of mulch and why?

    I have used the red and black lave rock, and both will contrast with your house, and if you use that landscape fabric that looks like felt, and is also used in French drains. It will be there a long time. If you want to plant anything where the lava rocks, are just brush the lava rocks away, use a razor knife and cut the fabric in an X pattern and fold back, and plant.
    J.J.

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  9. #9
    Silver Member SuperDuty335's Avatar
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    Default Re: What kind of mulch and why?

    My little secret is to go to the landfill and get free double ground mulch from the brush and trees, etc that gets brought in. Otherwise it would cost me $1500/year (35 yards+/-) just to buy it and haul it myself.

  10. #10
    Elite Member ToadHill's Avatar
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    Default Re: What kind of mulch and why?

    The reason for mulch is to control moisture retention. When I was in the business of tree and shrub care I found that black rock mulch heated up too much to effectively retain moisture.

    We had a local facility that used yard waste to create compost and I'd get loads from them that were only 1/2 way finished, part wood chips and some composted lawn clippings and it worked great. Not only did it function as mulch but as it decomposed further it acted as a compost fertilizer for the garden.
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