Organic Mulch


Protecting Plant Beds
Enhancing Landscapes

How important is organic mulch to a landscape?

Simply stated, mulch can be a critical component for protecting plant beds from the heat of summer and the cold of winter.

Mulch can be thought of as insurance for plants, as it increases their chance of survivability against nature’s elements. The benefits of organic mulch include: retaining moisture in the soil, inhibiting weed growth, keeping plant roots from temperature extremes, and giving a finished look to a landscape. As mulch decomposes, useful nutrients are deposited in the soil, which plant materials can readily take up through their root systems.

The next question is which mulch is best to use?

The answer is that all organic mulch is good for plants. There are several kinds from which to choose: pine straw, shredded hardwood, pecan shells and shredded cypress, to name a few.

Gravel, shredded rubber, recycled glass, and ground bricks are not organic, and therefore, do not make good mulch materials. These products retain heat in the soil and do not leave nutrients in the soil; but, they do keep people from having to replenish the supply twice a year.

Mulch is usually delivered to a site in bulk; however, it can be purchased in bags to cover smaller areas. In addition, some organic mulches that are now available come in five different colors: Georgia pine, cocoa brown, mahogany brown, sierra red and black forest. The color mulches can be purchased in bulk or bags.

A new and exciting innovation is a commercial top spray that is applied to organic ground covers like pine straw and wood mulch.

The top spray, which is water-based, non-toxic, and non-hazardous, is eco-safe for plants, pets, and wildlife.

It immediately enhances the original color of the mulch and extends its life by hindering the decomposition process. Therefore, the next time mulch is needed, only a sprinkling is necessary. Less product means less money spent. One can choose from five colors to be sprayed on existing mulch.

In the Atlanta area, there are commercial trucks that service residential and commercial clients. Typically, a crew will come to a property and apply a coating, for example, on pine straw.

Instantly, the pine straw changes from a moldy gray color to its original copper hue. Once the coating on the mulch has dried, the top spray colors will not run or wash off.

This is an attractive option for residential clients who want to embellish the color of their landscape during the winter months or to freshen a landscape before a special event like a party or celebration. Commercial leasing agents love the top spray as it enahances the curb appeal of their properties.

For high visibility commercial sites such as golf courses, swim and tennis clubs, multi-unit complexes, and subdivision entrances, spraying color on old mulch provides dramatic results – immediately!

If you have questions about mulch or the new color top spray technology, for a free consultation, contact landscape architect Olivia Munoz Mickalonis, a service connected disabled veteran, using the “Ask The Expert” form at the bottom of this page.

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