FAQ's ABOUT MULCH
What are the benefits of applying mulch?
There are several advantages to mulching your plant beds, including:
● Improving the yard’s aesthetics
● Limiting weeds by reducing growth and germination
● Moisturizing the soil, reducing watering frequency
● Keeping soil cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter
● Creating better conditions for plant root systems
● Improving soil aeration and structure
● Releasing beneficial nutrients into the soil
● Protecting the tree bases
Can mulch have bugs or weeds in it?
No. Organic mulch from Earth and Wood undergoes a natural pasteurization process that raises the temperatures of the mulch above 140°F. This heat treatment ensures that any plant pathogens or insects that wander into the treatment are unable to survive. However, once the mulch is laid, bugs may wander in (though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.)
Also, as your mulch gets older and finer, there is the possibility that weeds could spring up. This is why landscape experts recommend that you sprinkle pre-emergent herbicide over the soil prior to putting down mulch.
Is that fungus growing on my mulch?
If something odd is growing, it’s likely a type of fungus. As the mulch decomposes and temperatures rise in the summer months, organic mulch can reach the ideal moisture and temperature conditions to produce the following fungi:
● Mushrooms or toadstools – These vary in shape, size, and color, but can be easily removed via gardening tools or by hand.
● Slime molds – Although these have a nasty appearance, slime molds are typically a temporary nuisance that will decompose with time.
● Bird nest fungus – These harmless outgrowths look similar to tiny grayish-brown bird's nests and often grow in large areas of mulch.
● Artillery or shotgun fungus – As the name implies, these spores could explode and stain nearby structures. Though rare, you should immediately remove this type of infected mulch if you ever do see it.
If you’re worried about mold, the most mold-resistant mulch is Large Pine Bark Nuggets.
Is stone a good alternative to mulch?
Although it may cost a bit more, stone is a fine alternative that doesn’t need to be replaced or changed, especially when used for bed edging or weed stopping. Earth and Wood offer a wide variety of decorative gravels in a variety of colors and sizes to fit any landscape.
How do I stop my mulch from blowing away or fading?
Generally, mulch doesn’t blow away, though it makes sense that you might assume that. In reality, it just decays over time. The sun’s rays cause this “gray out” where the mulch decomposes into smaller and smaller particles until it eventually just blends in with the dirt and fully absorbs into the soil.
Coarser mulches, such as Pine Nuggets, Pine Needles, and Cypress tend to take longer to decay.
Are dyed mulches safe?
They’re totally safe. The colorant used in our organic wood-dyed mulches is an all-natural pigment that has been tested and certified by a third-party laboratory for plant and animal safety.
Typical colors are red, brown, and black—all of which can retain their coloring for up to two years without fading.
How do I apply mulch?
- Define the landscape bed – By edging the landscape bed by approximately 6 inches, you can prevent mulch from spreading into the grass.
- Remove debris – Remove any existing bushes, trees, plants, branches, or weed trimmings.
- Add landscape fabric – By laying down landscape fabric over the mulching area, you can help further prevent weed growth.
- Determine how much mulch you require – If you need help with this step, feel free to enter the length and width of your mulch bed into our product calculator, found on any product page.
- Select your mulch – Browse our catalog to find the right mulch for your yard, be it wood or stone.
- Apply the mulch – Whether you’re using bagged, bulk, or SuperSacks of mulch, be careful not to overdo it. You should maintain a 2- to 4-inch depth.
FAQ's ABOUT LAWN
How long does sodding take?
Sodding is faster than natural lawn seeding, but it doesn’t cause roots to form overnight. After installation, it can take shallow roots 10-14 days to develop. And with the proper balance of sun, air, water, and care, the sod will establish deep roots in 2-6 weeks. Factors that impact root development include:
● Type of turf
● Quality of sod
● Soil conditions
● Soil preparation
What is starter fertilizer?
Starter fertilizer is a low-concentration blend of nutrients that help plant roots develop and take hold. Earth and Wood offers a custom blend of 6-12-12 in small 10-pound quantities. The lower levels of nitrogen help prevent burnout.
Do I need fertilizer?
While fertilizer can help, it’s not mandatory. Most seeds contain enough nutrients to grow until they’re ready for mowing. Some landscapers prefer to wait for the initial mowing before adding fertilizers. Doing so ensures the plan has established roots to absorb the nutrients.
Should I remove lawn clippings when I remove grass?
Don’t do this. Cleaning up lawn clippings removes valuable nutrient sources from your lawn, limiting the potential for absorption and subsequent growth.
Should I apply lime annually?
In short, no. Lime raises the soil's pH levels, and grass must remain in the optimal pH range to achieve peak growth. Too much lime over time can raise the pH levels so that grass growth is stunted. Instead, experts recommend testing your soil’s pH levels—if they’re low, apply lime that year; if they’re not, wait to test again and apply only as needed.
Why won't grass grow under my trees?
Chances are, it’s not your soil that’s inhibiting grass growth, but too much shade from the trees. If that’s the case, your only solution is to prune the tree so that it allows more light to reach your grass.
FAQ's ABOUT SOIL
Are all soils the same?
No. There are two essential characteristics of high-quality soil:
● Fertility – In short, fertile soil is better for plant growth. Soil can be made more fertile by adding fertilizers, which carry essential nutrients for plant growth. You can measure this via a soil test.
● Texture – Soil needs plenty of space between its particles—pore space—to properly grow. That space is where air and water are stored for later use. It also allows roots to grow downward. Too much or too little pore space can inhibit soil growth; for example, you don’t see grass grow on a well-traveled path because it’s too compact, nor on a sandy beach because it’s not compact enough. As with most things, balance is everything.
Is my soil fertile?
You’ll never know using just your naked eye. While you can see if the soil is too light (meaning it lacks proper nutrients), the best way to determine fertility rates is with a lab test.
If your soil is infertile, Earth and Wood mixes high-organic materials into its soil products to increase organic levels and long-term fertility.
What does good soil texture look like?
Topsoils, known as granular soils, have textures with varying particle sizes, which leaves plenty of open space for water and air pockets to form.
If you have soil of the proper texture, you should be able to squeeze it into a ball and then break it up again with little resistance.
Even clumpy soil isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially in rainy seasons.
If you want to improve soil texture, Earth and Wood soil products are specifically blended to provide enhanced texture and fertility.
Is it bad to have stones in the soil?
No, it can actually be a good thing. Stones and wood help create texture and pore space, which is beneficial for growth. When wood and grass pieces decompose, this creates even more pore space.