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  • Writer's pictureDigger and Gina McLean

Mulch Better! Which Mulch is the Best Value?

Happy New Year! A new year is always a blessing. A blank slate stretched out before us. New beginnings and possibilities.

I know it's January and freezing cold outside, but it's always a good time to talk about mulch! We recently did a 60 day test of 4 different mulch types and have posted the video of the results.

We tested purchased pine straw, pine straw raked up from my yard, our Dura Cypress Mulch and bagged red mulch from the box store. We put them all out and let them sit for two months untouched. After two months, we came back and looked at how the products had aged over time. Here's what we found:

1. The pine straw we bought started out fluffy with good color, but had flattened out and

grayed out in two months. I know there are some pine straw lovers out there, but

two months? Really? The pine straws had degraded the most after two months of

all the products we tested.

2. Next up, the pine straw I raked up in my yard. It looked really ugly from day one and

was pretty lumpy after two months. Yuck. I admit I have used this hideous stuff in

some isolated places in my yard. I'm ashamed of myself.

3. Our Dura Cypress Mulch looked beautiful when we put it out and looked great after

two months. We use virgin raw materials in all of our mulch, so the product is

chemical and metal free and consistent. The dye is an organic colorant, so the color

lasts and resists fading.

4. Bagged red mulch from the big box store is something we also used in

this test. You have to be careful when you buy this mulch because it is a loss leader

for the box stores. When something retails for $2.00 a bag, it can contain any kind of

wood they can get their hands on which can even be old pallets or construction

waste. I personally won't buy that type of mulch, because the wood can be

contaminated with chemicals and it's hard to get all of the metal out of it so it can

have nails or screws in it. I just don't want that in my yard. If you want to buy mulch

from the box stores and feel good about it consider buying uncolored, natural mulch.

The colored bagged mulch we bought was colored pine bark and because of

the way bark is sourced it is usually clean, so I feel better about it. After two months,

the color had faded a little, but it still looked pretty good.

Hopefully our little test will help next time you are trying to buy a longer lasting mulch product for your yard.

Dig It? It's Grow Time!

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