Archive for General Info

Does Mulch Attract Bugs?

Does Mulch Attract Bugs?


It’s been our experience that mulch itself does not attract bugs, but may provide a home for those already living in your garden. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the majority of insects in a landscape are actually healthy for the plant material.

A layer of mulch is important for retaining moisture and those little critters will aid in the decomposition of materials that add nutrients to the soil. Something to avoid, however, is an overabundance of mulch (4 inches+). As this can retain too much moisture and potentially harm to your plants via fungus and mold.

Worms, Centipedes and earwigs are examples of insects that take up residence under mulch. These little guys help the soil by adding nutrients as they eat.  What about Termites? If termites are present under mulch, it’s usually because they were already there, as they not normally attracted the mulch itself.

Mulch Spreading … by Aircraft?

Very interesting example of mulch being spread by aircraft, in a “clearing-fire” zone. This done to apparently prevent erosion. Read more here

Rubber Mulch… Gaining Traction?

Landscape Rubber mulch:

  •  Remains porous at all times (never mats) allowing nearly 100% of all rain water direct to the soil.
  • Soil temperatures remain only 2 to 3 degrees above wood mulch covered soil temperature as rubber is an insulator. 
  • Weighs 675-700 lbs. per cubic yard.  Resists sinking into the soil and does not generally require a geo textile fabric.  Can be placed under stone driveways or parking areas to support the stone.
  • Acts as a weed deterrent as its non porous nature does not hold water at the surface dehydrating blown weed seed.  Will not stop rhizomial or bulb growth.
  • Depending on the manufacturer is colorfast for 5 to 15 years.
  • Costs 3 to 5 times cost of wood mulch and slightly more or less than decorative stone.

Playground Rubber mulch:

  •  Requires less material than wood mulch to achieve the same fall height rating.
  • Typically high traffic playgrounds will lose 25% of the material every 5 years.
  •  Never compacts but does require periodic maintenance to insure even coverage in fall zones.
  •  Larger particle sizes meet or exceed ADA Wheelchair standards.
  •  Works best with a border to control migration of the material.


Too Much Mulch?

Is there such a thing as too much Mulch?  You bet there is!  Be careful not to overdo mulch coverage, for the livelihood of your plant material.  It helps to keep heavy mulch away from the bases of trees, the tops of flowers and shrubs as well.


Mulch Type Comparison

Mulch Type Comparison Chart

How Mulch Mulch Do I Need?

Here is a comprehensive Mulch calculator that will determine how much mulch a project will require.

Mulch Calculator


4 Benefits of Pine Straw


  1. Erosion Control– Pine Straw doesn’t float away during heavy rains, and

    Pine Straw Installation

    provides stability to the soil of a landscape bed.

  2. Soil Health– Pine Straw decomposes relatively quickly, providing nitrogen richnutrients to plant life.
  3. Weed Suppression – The stringy characteristics of Pine Straw act as a great weed barrier when applied at a good depth.
  4. Visually Appealing – The essence of a natural landscape look, with a rich golden hue.

3 Keys to Playground Mulch

  1. Proper Depth 
  •  Having 8-12 inches of mulch depth will ensure a “bounce affect” when children fall on the surface.  This details is one of the specs in the ASTM certification. (American Society for Testing Materials)

     2. Chipped vs. Shredded

  • A quality playground mulch will have a chipped consistency rather than shredded.  This cuts down on splinters, and doesn’t stick to socks nearly as much.

     3. Non-dyed Material

  • Most mulch dyes are not very mouth and hair friendly.  They might look pretty, but to a discerning 3 year old pallet, not so much.

    Playground Mulch


5 Ways to Whack those Weeds

1.                   Apply a Pre-emergent Herbicide : A quality pre-emergent applied prior to ground cover will help nip those weeds in the bud.  Be sure to read directions carefully.
2.                  Layout Weed Fabric : A good barrier against weed seeds already existing in the soil.  Simply cut holes for your new plants.
3.                  Remove Weeds in Just Purchased Plants : Weeds love to grow in the pots of growing nursery plants, and often lay in wait for their new home.
4.                  Install Quality Mulch : A good 2″-3″ layer of quality mulch will help to keep weed seeds from germinating.  Not to mention help control both soil temperature and moisture.
5.                  Don’t Till too Often : Stirring up the soil can expose dormant seeds to sunlight, and soon they’ll be singing in the rain!

Proper Mulch Depth

  • The recommended mulching depth for organic mulches is 2 to 2.5 inches. At this depth, most mulches will accommodate the primary objectives of weed control, soil moisture conservation and temperature modification.


  • Mulching depths less than 2 inches may not be effective in weed control; however, mulch applied 3 to 6 inches or more can lead to serious problems for landscape plants. A mulch that is too thick may severely reduce or eliminate drying and lead to water-logged soil, particularly during wet seasons.


  • Excess mulch applied right against the trunk of trees in the landscape leads to constantly wet bark and conditions favorable for disease development which can potentially damage the tree.


  • When reapplying mulch over an existing layer of mulch, bring the total depth up to 2 to 2.5 inches.


  • Do not apply 2 inches of mulch with each application or soon a depth greater than 3 inches will accumulate. Some mulches break down at a much slower rate. Keep this in mind for future applications of mulch.