There are also many types of mulch you buy. According to advertisements, pine or hardwood mulch last longer, shredded hardwood bark mulch has a lot of nutrients; pine needle mulch looks good, but does not last long. Sawdust mulch lasts long, but uses up the needed nitrogen. Wood chip mulch can be free from a tree cutting service but take forever to decompose, and has zero nutrition. Organic mulch cost more. Colored mulch looks good, Hay mulch contains weed seeds. Compost mulch may have some sewer sludge, permits a nutrient imbalance and contains high soluble salts. Newspaper mulch is flammable and contains carcinogens. Leaf mulch blows away. Bark mulch attracts wasps, ants, and termites. Rubber mulch does not deteriorate. Finally, cypress mulch lasts longer, holds more water, and is a natural insecticide. Now that you have been completely misinformed by commercialism, let’s get down to what I call “The Mulch Scams”. The Cypress Mulch Scam”. Cypress mulch contains natural chemicals that fend off insects and resist rot. The Cypress mulch did that many years ago when they used full-grown, fully developed, 100 year old Cypress trees. Due to unsustainable, over-harvesting of cypress trees, most cypress mulch now comes from immature baby trees that have not yet developed the properties that made Cypress mulch so popular decades ago. You are not buying what you are told you are buying. “The Landscaper’s Generic Mulch Scam”. If you live in the city, many garden entities or landscapers have city contracts to pick up free refuse on garbage day. This is garbage contains pesticides, weed killers, chemicals, dog or cat feces, animal urine, newspapers with ink, cardboard with glue, phosphates, and other nasty stuff that gets recycled back into mulch. You are buying a witches brew which can poison your front yard. Furthermore, you may have just been artillery fungi which eject black globular sticky tar projectiles which stick to your home which do not wash off. “The Secret Formula Mulch Scams. You can get these after large storms because a lot of cleanup debris gets chopped up and recycled “The Colored Mulch Scam”. In the past, red mulch color was made with chromate copper arsenate, a carcinogen also known as or CCA. Today we are told that red dies are made of soybean oil or iron oxides. Virtually, most commercial dyes are toxic, made from petrochemicals with heavy metals. No wonder when you read the mulch labels they state mulch colorant used. What is a mulch colorant?
The black mulch does not occur in nature, except under anaerobic (means without oxygen) conditions where the soil is sickly and full of bad microbes. Furthermore, most common black colorant is carbon black, which is a byproduct of the chemical industry and a known carcinogen. Grab a handful of black mulch and rub it together in your hands. If your hands are stained, you might not want to use this stuff. Additionally colored mulched needs reclaimed or recycled wood to be able to absorb the colorant. You can bet that agriculture wood pallets that have spilled insecticides, factory pallets that had leaking chemicals, and wood crates from china all get chipped up and then dyed. If the mulch manufacturer is located in the country, than a few red barns get chopped up which certainly contain Pre-1978 lead paint. “The Rubber Mulch Scam” which has recycled tire shreds that contain heavy metals like zinc, selenium, chromium, cadmium, and molybdenum, which are toxic to the environment as they decompose. These chemicals pose a threat to people, animals, and aquatic ecosystems as they leach into groundwater. In addition, they float away during rain and on hot days, they stink up your property. “The Sour Toxic Mulch Odor Scam”. This mulch has a pungent odor similar to ammonia, vinegar, and rotten eggs. Mulch should not be stored for long periods of time in huge piles that experience anaerobic conditions, where microorganisms thrive in an oxygen-free environment, usually in the center of large piles. This mulch can become laden with toxic by-products such as methanol, acetic acid, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide gas. “The Dog Killing Cocoa Bean Shell Mulch Scam”. Cocoa Bean Shells smell nice, but they contain theobromine, the same chemical that makes chocolate toxic to dogs. It has been known to cause dog diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, elevated heart rate, and even first degree dog murder. Therefore, the only thing we have left is the natural mulch with all natural products. Good luck finding this. Maybe we need to substitute the mulch with stone that comes in many colors just like mulch. The only thing different is that we know the stone is natural and safe unless you live in a glass house.
Ryan Lawrence Manthey (Lakewood Ohio)
Thank You Ryan, you are great.
Mold The Truth We have all been scammed