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Poll results: What color mulch?

Voters
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  • Dark aged natural hardwood

    6 27.27%
  • Pine Chunks

    0 0%
  • Red

    0 0%
  • Real Cedar

    3 13.64%
  • Gravel (for you jersey shore people...)

    2 9.09%
  • Let the weeds grow!

    1 4.55%
  • Homemade from the chipper

    5 22.73%
  • other, see below

    2 9.09%
  • Not a homeowner

    3 13.64%
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Thread: What color mulch?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    What color mulch?

    Inspired by my neighbor who just covered 1/2 his front yard with red mulch.

    What is it with mulch? Mulch is intended to keep weeds down and moisture in the soil. It should enhance plants,,, not compete. So why would anyone use red mulch... the opposite side of the color spectrum from green? Also... I really wonder about the dyes used on all this mulch.
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

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  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Gravel B-) (for you jersey shore people...)
    Have been a Jersey Shore person since 1971
    Many yards are covered with pebbles which are much smoother than gravel.
    Gravel to me is road base / utility trench material.
    Last edited by JNA; 21 May 2004 at 8:42 AM.
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  3. #3
    Gravel (for you Jersey shore people)

    As my fellow ex-pat JNA noted, it really is more of a pebble at the shore than a true gravel. I remember as a kid, the borough I lived in would spray hot liquid asphalt and then spread tons and tons of gravel on our residential side streets. There'd be this dust for a day or two, and then as cars traveled the streets, the loose gravel on top would be wedged over to the curb the way snow is in the winter. I remember the sound cars would make as they traveled asphalt streets with little pieces of gravel embedded in the treads of their tires. And the peculiar smell after a rainstorm, a sweet musky smell not altoegether unpleasant.

    Of course, for a kid on a bike it was an absolute nightmare I still have bits of gravel in my hands and knees from various falls

    I like the red mulch if it is used in very small quantities as a highlight of a specific plant or bed. Too much and it starts to look like the end zone at Arrowhead Stadium.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  4. #4
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Just get out a can of red spray paint and get crazy on the dirt.

    I like the idea of chipping your own!
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  5. #5
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    Once upon a time I used red mulch. I have a very wooded back and side yard. Everything is green and I put some red mulch around my Hostas and it added some color. I was alright, but now I use hardwood mulch and add color with flowers.

    I voted hardwood mulch, I'd chip my own if A) I had a chipper, B) had wood to chip.

  6. #6
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I voted gravel. Here's why. Wood mulch decomposes and can attract termites and carpenter ants. No guarantee it will but why tempt fate.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    The city's maintenance crews use the red mulch around buildings and in parks. I think it looks awful. It gives everything a "fake" look.

    At home I use cedar mulch in gardens under the pines, and cocoa bean shells in the gardens nearer to the house. Several of the gardens get no mulch, though. I use grass clippings (from less weedy parts of the lawn) to mulch under the vines in the vegetable garden.
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    The city's maintenance crews use the red mulch around buildings and in parks. I think it looks awful. It gives everything a "fake" look.

    At home I use cedar mulch in gardens under the pines, and cocoa bean shells in the gardens nearer to the house. Several of the gardens get no mulch, though. I use grass clippings (from less weedy parts of the lawn) to mulch under the vines in the vegetable garden.

    I think I have heard that cocoa beans are very good mulch... but very bad if you have dogs...(make them sick) Not sure if this is really true though....
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

    Renovating the '62 Metzendorf
    http://metzendorf.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    I'm not a homeowner, but I certainly would never use any red mulch. It is terrible.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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  10. #10
          Downtown's avatar
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    Count me in for hardwood - Rob mulched all my beds for me a couple of weeks ago and they look great. Its fortunate that we're both Red Mulch Haters. It does look fake.

  11. #11
    maudit anglais
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    I got a couple of bags of homemade mulch off my parents a couple of weeks ago...not sure where and if I'll use them. We're trying to do a natualized garden, so mulch doesn't really fit in. I may use it on the veggies and lonely old rose bush.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker
    Gravel (for you Jersey shore people)

    Of course, for a kid on a bike it was an absolute nightmare I still have bits of gravel in my hands and knees from various falls
    They pea gravel and tared my local street right about my prime childhood bike-riding age. I remember on hot days the tar bubbles and their 'pop' and the splattered tar up and down my backside from the rapidly spinnnig bike tires.

    and I remember embedded tar and pebbles from many of my falls.


    otherwise.. natural hardwood....red is bad bad bad!
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    We use cocoa bean and pine mulch here. I don't understand the appeal of red mulch - it looks radioactive to me.

    Around here, people/businesses have begun using iron oxide from creeks polluted with mine drainage as a dye. I think I heard it has been used to dye mulch, and our conservation district used it to dye some of their concrete.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    What about painted or dyed rubber mulch from made from recycled tires? Has anyone tryed it yet?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  15. #15
          Downtown's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    What about painted or dyed rubber mulch from made from recycled tires? Has anyone tryed it yet?
    I haven't seen the mulch yet, but in our new park, the surface of the playground's "floor" is made frm dyed recycled tires and is compacted down, so that the playground is "barrier free" for wheel chairs. Extremely cool.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    What about painted or dyed rubber mulch from made from recycled tires? Has anyone tryed it yet?
    We have it in our new park here, and it has worked out pretty well. A few residents complained that it got hot in the summer, but no more than anything else. It's not something that I would use in our landscaping at home though.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Here in Florida, the only termite-resistant mulch happens to be red. So that's all I use. If it's used tastefully, in reasonably-sized areas with mature plants, it looks fine. It also doesn't fade from the harsh sunlight/rainy seasons and look faded and crappy as quick as regular mulch.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    I really like pine needles for mulch as well as pine bark.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Like Cardinal, I use cedar mulch in some areas, and cocoa bean mulch in others. It depends on the plant, the amount of sunlight, propensity for weediness, etc.

    Yes, TSC, cocoa bean mulch CAN be toxic to dogs, so if you have a dog who is outside a lot, it's definitely NOT recommended.

    I have a real hatred for red mulch. It's really ugly. One of our neighbors used it in his icky landscaped front yard, and it looks like something you'd see at a shopping mall.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    We use mostly cyprus mulch.
    There are no coco beans or pine needles available.
    Some pine bark chips but they float away in a decent rain.

    Actually our city offers free mulch by the truck load and we used that on our side yard last year. The problem with it that it is not uniform in material or size, it is very rough. It would be great for path making in a woodsy area.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Alright, I've got the red mulch. BUT its only a small 3' strip in front of the house - not a martian landscape with spiral junipers. And it kind of goes with the red door. Actually, I think I'll pick up a few more bags on the way home. Its not that red of a color by the way.

    I don't think a Home Depot* parking lot looks any better with acres of brown mulch instead of red.


    *See how I purposely didn't invoke Sam's Law.

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