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Mulch Alternative

Posted by on 6:16 pm in Landscape | 0 comments

On average, most people re-mulch their landscape once a year. This may have to be done more or less frequently depending on weather conditions, foot traffic, raking, irrigation, and other variables. This replenishment is necessary because just like any other plant part that is removed from its host, mulch decomposes. There is an alternative to this annual chore of re-mulching, one that seems to be gaining popularity these past few years as the price of mulch has gone up. That alternative would be re-mulching with stone or shell. There are many types to choose from, with the most popular being washed, crushed shell which is composed of partial and whole sea shell parts mined from underground veins found throughout Florida. Not only does this shell give your garden a coastal look, it is also easy to walk on. Gardeners use it for driveways, walkways, and even ground cover in landscapes. Another alternative to mulch is Red Crimson Rock, also known as Cedar Bark Chip. This stone comes from old abandoned coal mines in Alabama. According to legend, underground fires that started after the mines were shut down and sealed caused the clay and coal to melt together and then harden; these events created the stone that we now call Red Crimson Rock. Once installed in the landscape, this stone resembles Pine Bark mulch, hence its other alias Cedar Bark Chip. Many landscapers and gardeners go with the tried and true River Rock, which typically comes in white or brown. It is safe to say this rock has the best curb appeal due to its smooth finish, vibrant colors, and consistency in shape.  It is also available in various sizes and color combinations. This rock/groundcover will certainly raise the value of any home. Regardless of what decorative rock you choose, once you choose to use it as a replacement over your mulch, you will see financial benefits in no...

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Long Lasting Mulch – Fresher is Better!

Posted by on 2:14 pm in Landscape | 0 comments

Like fruit, vegetable, leave and seeds, mulch is derived from a living plant, specifically a tree. And, like all living plants and their parts, once removed from their growing environment, they begin to decompose. In short, mulch is a perishable item; it has a “shelf life”. All mulch, whether is it ground up branches and trunks, or bark, is processed at a mill, usually a paper and/or lumber mill. Once processed, it is bagged or loaded in bulk form on a semi trailer and shipped to its point of sale. It is at this point of sale is where the decomposition process kicks into high gear. This is especially so in the hot and humid Florida climate. These days, you can find mulch at just about any big box store in the spring and fall and at some, year round. These big box stores are known to have the best price on mulch but, is it the best value? Usually not, here is why; big box stores pre-buy their mulch utilizing contracts based on volume, huge volume. The mulch is shipped to the stores in very short periods of time so that the inventory is all in place for the anticipated mulching season. But before they can sell this mulch, they have to sell what is left over from the season before, which has usually been sitting (and decomposing) at the store for 4 to 6 months. Once they get through what is left over from the previous season, they move into the “newer” mulch which, at this point, is not so new anymore… you see where we are going with this? When you buy a perishable item that is already 4 to 6 month old, you have lost that same amount of time of product life in the landscape. That is one reason why so many savvy gardeners and continue to buy their mulch from true landscape material supply stores.   These landscape material supply stores are almost always locally owned and operated. They are the number one choice of the areas landscapers and as mentioned above, the savvy gardener. What does this have to do with the freshness of their mulch? A lot! These smaller stores turn their mulch inventory on average on a weekly basis. So, when you are buying mulch here, weather it is in bags or bulk, the material is around a week old. This freshness of product adds months to the effectiveness, longevity and curb appeal of the product. Over several years, this adds up to huge savings from the reduced re-mulching that must be done.   Stop in to your local landscape material supply store and see for yourself just how fresh, long lasting mulch can...

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