There are many beautiful gardens and homes that utilize dyed mulch. While this can add another level of customization to your landscape, it can actually do a lot of damage to your plants and soil. If you have used dyed mulch, or are thinking about using it in the future, please give this blog a read!
The Origins of Dyed Mulch
Dyed mulches (black, red, green, and other colors) are usually (with few exceptions) made up of recycled wood waste. This trash wood can come from old hardwood pallets, old decking, demolished buildings, or worse yet pressure-treated CCA lumber. CCA stands for Chromium, Copper, and Arsenic; chemicals used to preserve the wood. This ground-up trash wood is then sprayed with a tint to cover up inconsistencies in the wood and give it a uniform color.
Why You Should Steer Clear of Dyed Mulch in Your Gardens
This dyed wood mulch does not break down to enrich the soil as good mulch should. Instead, it leaches the dye along with the possible contaminants (chromium, copper, arsenic, and others) into the soil harming or even killing beneficial soil bacteria, insects, earthworms, and sometimes the plants themselves. These wood mulches actually rob the soil of nitrogen by out-competing the plants for the nitrogen they need for their own growth. Dr. Harry Hoitink, Professor Emeritus at Ohio State University, warns that dyed mulches are especially deadly when used around young plants and in newer landscapes.
What Naturescapes Uses
We at Naturescapes only use composted triple-shredded bark & leaf mulch. This product is 100% natural and organic that is naturally dark brown without additives. Shredded bark mulch breaks down over the course of a season or two to enrich the soil. It also increases the soil’s organic content, aids in beneficial soil bacteria, and enhances earthworm production. Being composed, or naturally aged, it actually releases nitrogen into the soil, therefore, helping plants rather than harming them.
Get a Beautiful Landscape Today
Our team at Naturescapes loves beautifying gardens and landscapes while also encouraging healthy growth and life in the plants and organisms that help our world. If you are hoping to improve the health of your garden, add more natural color and beauty to your home, or learn more about natural landscaping – contact us today for a free consultation.
Note that Naturescapes only services landscapes in Southeastern Pennsylvania (Delaware County, Montgomery County & Chester County).