There are many mulch products available for the do it yourselfer or professional contractor. No matter what new products come on the market, traditional products such as mulch are still the desired choice among landscapers. There are many types of mulch products that you can use on your project. Choosing the product that is the best fit for your application should always be a priority. Not all mulch products are created equal and not all mulch products will work for every application. With a little homework, you can see which products are superior and which products are not.
Natural Shredded Bark
This product consists of processed bark material, shredded to a desired size. Consumers that are looking for a natural, inexpensive product tend to go with natural shredded bark. Most of the bulk natural shredded bark products available in eastern Iowa are rich chocolate-brown in color. There is a mild woody aroma produced by the product which will last for several months. Natural shredded bark products contain many “fines”, which are small dusty particles.
There are many kinds of natural hardwood mulch, depending on the tree species used for the end product. One of my favorite natural products is red cedar. There are several types of red cedar mulch, but all of the cedar products offer a strong natural aroma. Red cedar is a long-lasting product that will fight insects and mold. Generally this product will last several years with its color and aroma. This product may cost more up front but if you only have to put it down every two or three years, it will save you money in the long run.
Color Enhanced Mulch
Color enhanced mulch products are usually made from recycled products such as old pallets. Color pigment is added to the shredded material allowing you to get desired colors that are not available with natural products. We commonly use this product because it tends to hold its color longer than most natural products. Color enhanced products are lower in cost than most natural hardwood products, saving you money.