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     Plymouth, MA 02360
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Mulch Products

You will find a nearly endless list of bark mulch varieties, from cedar to spruce to pine to hemlock.  You can find died, color enhanced, mixed, coarsely ground, double ground, finely ground, aged, composted, bagged and bulk mulch.  At first glance, the huge variety can be confusing and frustrating but we have tried to simplify things a bit for you with the following tips.  Back to Products Page

Bagged or Bulk?

 Bagged Mulch

Bagged MulchBagged Mulch may be the choice for you if you are looking for a variety of mulch that cannot be found in your local region.  Bagged mulch has the advantage of being in convenient and manageable packages which can make it easy to spread or transport in the backseat of your car.  You will pay a heavy price for these conveniences though because bagged mulch can cost up to twice as much as when you buy mulch in bulk.

 Bulk Mulch Delivery

Bulk Mulch DeliveriesWe suggest buying your mulch in bulk whenever possible.  Most landscape yards will allow you to pick up their bulk mulch in quantities as small as a 50 gallon barrel.  You could save up to 50% by buying in bulk and you will often find spreading mulch in larger areas is easier when ordered in bulk.  You will not need to deal with ripping open countless bags and you will not have a big mess of plastic to dispose of when you are done.  Landscape yards normally offer convenient and affordable delivery options that make bulk mulch purchasing a viable option.

Colored Mulch or Natural?

Natural MulchMulch color is largely a matter of taste.  We highly recommend using a mulch that is either natural or slightly color enhanced.  If you find the image above more appealing than the image below, this advice will suit your tastes. 


Colored MulchMulch that relies upon significant color enhancement often bleeds substantial amounts of die during rain events and often utilizes dies to mask inferior material composition.  Heavily died mulch products are commonly comprised of predominantly wood with virtually no bark.  As discussed below, wood doesn't offer many of the attractive benefits that bark mulch provides.


Black MulchThe one mulch that contains significant amounts of die that we do recommend is black mulch.  A good quality black mulch can really make your landscaping stand out.  It is a striking look that cannot be accomplished with un-died products.  We do, however, caution consumers to make sure you are purchasing a high quality mulch product that will last beyond the first rain event.

Types of Bark Mulch

The type of bark mulch you choose is mostly a matter of taste.  If you like the look and smell of pine bark mulch, we suggest you find a product that is high in bark content, relies upon little or no coloring and contains minimal amounts of sand.  As discussed above, coloring can be used to mask poor material composition and we will discuss the benefits of bark content below.  Seeking a product that contains minimal amounts of sand reduces the likelihood that you will inadvertently purchase a mulch that is made from stump grindings.  We recommend hemlock over cedar due to the fact that hemlock provides the same insect repellant characteristics as cedar but has the added benefits of color retention and soil enrichment.  Pine bark mulch, pine spruce mixes and hemlock are the mulches we prefer and that we would recommend for purchase.

How Fine Should the Grind Be?

 Chunky Bark

Chunky Bark MulchThe bigger the bark chunks the longer the mulch will take to break down. While the added longevity of a chunky bark mulch may seem attractive, we suggest that a finer grind will benefit your planting beds more in the long run

 Finely Ground Bark Mulch

Finely Ground MulchFinely ground mulch is preferable to chunky mulch because it will add more nutrients to your soil, retain water better, provide superior insulation properties and do a superior job inhibiting weed growth.

Why Bark Mulch?

  1. Bark increases the moisture content in soil:  A loose, un-compacted layer of mulch helps to slow the rate at which water evaporates from the soil. An added benefit of improved moisture retention is that soil temperature tends to be cooler.  Once mulch has been compacted or begins to decompose, it's ability to impede evaporation is significantly compromised.
  2. Bark contains waxes that shed water moving it into the soil.
  3. An un-compacted layer of mulch can be an extremely effective mechanism to absorb the impact of heavy rain; thus slowing compaction, runoff and erosion. This phenomenon also reduces splashing onto plant stems and suppresses the spread of some diseases.
  4. Bark decomposes slower than wood, maintains its color longer, and presents a uniform product appearance.  This uniform product appearance can create an attractive theme throughout your yard, allowing you to explore a wider variety of plantings while maintaining a sense of natural flow.
  5. If mulch is spread at least three inches thick, it can help to reduce weed germination by blocking sunlight, an essential ingredient in the germination process.
  6. As mulches decompose, they provide valuable nutrients to soil and improve the soil's structure. Improved soil structure results in an increase in the free movement of air and water through the soil.
  7. In general, mulches that do not contain bark have a high carbon: nitrogen ratio. This means that in the process of decomposing they may reduce the supply of soil nitrogen for plant uptake.
  8. Bark mulch increases the level of leaf phosphorus and potassium in soil. These macronutrients are important for the survival of plants.
  9. Bark is composed of lignin, which decomposes very slowly and is often insect resistant. Furthermore, because it decomposes slowly, bark mulch is less hospitable to artillery fungus.
  10. Bark has a significant, negative effect on soil nitrate and ammonium content, which are inorganic forms of nitrogen.
  11. Why softwood? Unlike Hardwood which is slightly alkaline, Softwood Bark is acidic in its reaction and does not require any additives to modify the pH.


 

Why Mulch?
Mulch Products