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Mulch Questions

  • Will your mulch encourage termites to live by my house?

In general, the heat generated from the composting process will kill just about anything in the mulch piles. Also, a thin layer of mulch is not an ideal environment for termites. They prefer dark, solid and isolated environments.

  • I have what looks like dog vomit growing on my mulch.

After an extended rainy period we will typically get calls about mold, fungus and mushrooms growing on our mulch. One of these molds resembles “dog vomit”. It is not harmful to plants but is unsightly. It is easily removed with a shovel. To help avoid the growth of this mold and other fungi, avoid applying the mulch more than 2 inches thick.

  • Are the dyes that you use in your mulch safe for plants, animals or people?

Kurtz Bros., Inc. colored mulch produced with Heartland Enriched Colorants and are safe for use around the home. Independent laboratory tests have confirmed that colored mulch presents no more concern for children or pets than regular mulches. While some parts of the world still use lead or cadmium-based pigments in paints and coatings, Heartland Enriched Colorants understands the risks involved with heavy metals and VOC’s. Heartland avoids using any hazardous or threatening material in its colorants. To make colorants, Heartland Enriched Colorants uses materials also used in products like lipsticks, cosmetics and food containers. Colored Mulch made with Heartland Enriched Colorants is completely safe for shrubs, plants, pets and children. Heartland’s commitment to the environment also means its colorants are free of harmful toxins. Toxic emissions are a major cause of ozone pollution, and a significant part of the toxins released into the atmosphere come from industrial paints and coatings. For the record, Heartland has always used water-based formulations (rather than solvent-based), and periodically the company invites independent laboratories to test the colorants to confirm that its Colored Mulch is non-toxic.

  • Are the dyes you use in your mulch going to permanently stain my property?

Once mulch colorant is locked onto wood fiber, the color permanently bonds and does not wash off. However, even using proper application procedures and high quality colorants, stains can occur. Even if the color looks dry, precautions should be taken to avoid staining driveways, sidewalks and clothing. Mulch should be laid on tarpaulin or drop cloths when possible, and water should be applied to the surfaces before mulch is set down. Once the mulch is distributed, wash the area or tarpaulin with warm, soapy water to prevent the color from permanently staining the surface.

  • Are your mulches “sterilized”?

Our mulches are not treated with any sort of chemicals or pesticides. The only “sterilization” process any of our mulches go through is the composting process which kills bacteria, seeds and insects.

Compost Questions

  • How much compost do I need?

The amount of organic matter differs depending on the type of compost and the intended use. Yard waste compost will typically contain the least amount of organic matter, while TechnaGro Plus™ Compost will contain the most. In general, natural soil in northern Ohio will benefit the most if amended to include 25% TechnaGro Plus™ Compost. That means if you’re amending the top 4” of soil, you’ll need to spread 1” TechnaGro Plus™ Compost over the area and till it in.

  • Can I use compost as mulch?

Absolutely! In fact, what has come to be known as hardwood mulch could be considered a type of compost. In addition to holding in moisture and deterring weed growth, TechnaGro Plus™ Compost also provides important macro and micro nutrients to help plants grow healthy and strong.

  • What’s that smell?

Regardless of the source, composting, organic matter will release an odor during the composting process. It’s true with hardwood mulch, animal manure, yardwaste and other types of compost. But that’s an indication of the beneficial activity going on within the compost. After the initial composting process, TechnaGro Plus™ Compost is aged for approximately 60 days (to allow odors to dissipate). However, a slight odor will remain until it is spread, tilled, or watered in and will quickly diminish within a day or two.

  • What about heavy metals and pathogens?

Natural soils, manures, commercial fertilizer, and compost all contain trace amounts of “heavy metals”. Many, like chromium, copper, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc are essential micronutrients for plants, animals, and humans (look what is in a multi-vitamin and mineral tablet!) The presence of these and others can also be found in TechnaGro Plus™ Compost but, due to the extensive research and strict controls, it’s one of the few composts that can claim, definitively, that the amount of potentially harmful metals is extremely minimal and well below the level considered to be a pollutant. Likewise, due to advanced technologies, TechnaGro Plus™ Compost contains extremely low levels of pathogen activity and likely to be lower than what you might find in typical garden soil.

  • Is it hot?

The composting process produces heat which is the property that kills many of the weed seeds, bugs and other undesirables. It’s generally recommended that all compost including TechnaGro™ Compost should be watered in after application. If used as a lawn topdressing, water in twice a day for the first week to avoid plant stress and to assure the nutrients get into the root zone.

  • Sounds too good to be true. What’s the down side to using compost?

It may be hard to believe but there isn’t a down side! Through the use of recycling and the beneficial use of organic waste, we are all helping to relieve the growing problem of overcrowded landfills. And the best thing of all, by using TechnaGro Plus™ Compost you’ll grow healthier plants with larger, more colorful flowers and greater vegetable yields. You’ll agree….The results are amazing!

  • The Nitty Gritty

To understand the strict controls regarding the safety of TechnaGro Plus™ Compost it’s important to know how it compares with allowable levels, common household items, natural soil, and the daily value for human health (formerly known as the recommended daily amount). Most of the values are in parts per million (ppm). 10,000 ppm = 1%. Another way to put parts per million into perspective is to compare the thickness of a single dollar bill to the height of a stack of one million dollar bills which would be about 333 feet tall.

Measurement Questions

  • I normally buy bagged mulch. How can I figure out how mulch bulk mulch to order?

To determine how many yards to buy you need to know the size of the bagged mulch you have purchased in the past. Most bagged mulch comes in 2 or 3 cubic foot bags. There are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard so simply take the number of bags and multiply it by the bag size and divide by 27. Since we only sell in full cubic yards, round up to insure you have enough mulch for your project. To make things easier for you, we’ve included a bulk to bag calculator on our website.

  • How many square feet will one yard cover?

At a depth of 2 inches, 1 cubic yard will cover 162 square feet.

Yard Waste Drop-Off Questions

  • What type of yard waste do you accept?

Cleveland Area: Yardwaste may be dropped off at any of our Cleveland store and production locations for a nominal fee, and tree trimmings for FREE* at our Bridgeview, Avon and North Royalton production sites.* Limited to tree branches, brush, etc. we do not take stumps, roots, or sod or anything from below the ground. We DO NOT accept any non organic yard waste such as plastic pots, paver stones or landscape timbers. We employ yard waste inspectors at each location to check for contamination.

  • Is there a charge to drop off yard waste?

Yardwaste may be dropped off at any of our Cleveland store and production locations for a nominal fee, and tree trimmings for FREE* at our Bridgeview, Avon and North Royalton production sites.* Limited to tree branches, brush, etc. we do not take stumps, roots, or sod or anything from below the ground.

  • Does my yard waste need to be bundled?

No, your yard waste can be loose or bagged. If you use recyclable lawn and leaf bags you can dispose of the bag with the yard waste or just dump out the yard waste and re use the bag. If you bring yard waste in plastic bags or garbage cans you must dump out the yard waste and take the bags/cans with you.