Beware of Toxic Mulch

Mulching beds has become extremely popular nowadays, and mulch can be really good for your plants and the soil in your planting beds, but there are things you need to watch for. mulch alpharetta

In this article in Ohio the most popular kind of mulch that individuals use is shredded hard wood bark mulch, a by-product of the timber industry. When they haul the logs into the sawmill the initial thing they do is debark them. Years back the bark was naturally a huge problem for the mills because there didn’t seem to be to be an useful purpose for it, until people recognized the hidden benefits that it held. Still today, the bark is a headache for the read mills, and they may always understand how to properly handle it. 

They will like to pile it as high as they can so that it takes up less space in their yard. The mulch really tends to back up throughout the winter months because there is little with regard to it. In order for the generators to pile the mulch high, they literally have to drive the large front end loaders up onto the pile. Of course the weight of the large machines compacts the mulch in the heap, and this can become a huge problem for you or I if we happen to get some mulch that has been stacked too high, and compacted too firmly.

If the trees are first debarked the mulch is fairly fresh, and needs to decompose before we dare make use of it around our plants. The decomposition process requires oxygen and air flow into the pile. If the mulch is compacted too small, this air flow simply cannot take place, and as the mulch continues to decompose it becomes extremely hot as the organic and natural matter ferments. Sometimes the ultimate heat combined with the inability to discharge the heat can cause the pile to burst into flame through spontaneous combustable.

In other cases the mulch heats up, simply cannot release the gas, and the mulch actually becomes toxic. When this occurs the mulch develops an overbearing odor that will take your breath away as you dig into the pile. When you spread this toxic mulch around your plants the gas it contains is released, which gas can and will burn your plants.

It has occurred to me twice. When inside my own house, and once over a job I was doing for a customer. This dangerous mulch is very strong. We spilled a little mulch in the plants of a Dwarf Alberta Spruce that we were mulching around, and simply a few minutes later blown the mulch out of the plant. The following day my customer noticed that one side of the vegetable was all brown. The mulch had only recently been there for a subject of minutes.

Not only did I must replace the Dwarf Alberta Spruce, but the mulch also broken at least 10 other plants that I were required to replace. I once observed where somebody ordered a 52 pick up weight of mulch, had it dumped in their drive, and as the harmful mulch slid out of the dump truck on to the asphalt the poisonous gas that was released settled on the grass next to the entrance.

The gas, not the mulch, turned the lawn brown next to the mulch pile.

This same person spread several back yards of the mulch around their property before they understood the situation, and it wrecked a lot of their plants.

Right now here’s the hard part; trying to make clear to you how to identify toxic mulch. It has a very strong smell that will take your breath away. But then again almost all mulch has a powerful smell. This is different than your typical mulch smell, but I can’t describe it any better than that.

The mulch appears correctly normal, maybe a little darker in color than normal. If you suspect a problem with the mulch you have, take a couple of shovels full, and place it around an affordable vegetable. Maybe simply a few flowers. Once doing this test use mulch from inside the mulch pile and not from the edges. The mulch on the border of the pile has more than likely released the majority of the toxic gas that it may have held.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *