vs. DYED MULCH
Regular shredded mulch is less expensive (30% to 40% cheaper) but
fades to a gray color after just one or two months in the sun.
Colored-mulches hold their color throughout the year, and often into
the next year, with minimal color loss. This provides better value
to the landscaping client.
HOW IS WOOD MULCH DYED?
Regular shredded mulch is loaded into a hopper on a large, trailer
mounted, mulch dyeing machine, like the one seen in the photo below.
Liquid colorant from 55-gallon drums was mixed with water and
sprayed on the mulch as it passed through the machine. The brown
colored mulch then travels up a conveyor belt to a stockpile.
In the photo
you can see the mulch dyeing process:
1. Regular mulch is
stockpiled to the rear of the machine.
2. A bucket loader dumps regular mulch into the hopper.
3. Colorant is mixed with water and sprayed onto the mulch.
4. Dyed mulch travels up a conveyor onto a stockpile.
The colorant product used on the mulch
above is formulated to be non-toxic to animals and plants. Check
with your mulch supplier for complete details when ordering.
WILL THE DYE
The colorants tend to "set" once the
mulch is spread-out and dry. Up until that point, colorants can
rub-off on hands, clothes and pavement (it washes off 'chipped'
hardwood mulches more easily than shredded mulches). It's recommended
that you work with freshly dyed mulches on a dry day, when there is no rain
in the forecast.
Insects will favor a moist environment
that's close to your house whether the mulch is wood, stone, or
otherwise. Some recommendations call for insecticide applications
around the foundation of your home to ward off destructive insects.
Other recommendations call for no mulch (of any type) right next to
the foundation, for a distance of several feet. Most professional
pest applicators recommend using baits for ant problems, but always
read and follow label directions.
As with other wood-based mulches, you
should fertilize the plants in your shrub bed with a nitrogen
fertilizer before applying your mulch. This will counteract nitrogen
depletion in the soil which occurs when wood mulches breakdown.