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Mulch Madness from American Green


March is here, the birds are chirping, clocks are springing ahead and your mulch beds are ready to explode with weeds. So what can you do to keep from pulling out weeds and your hair? It’s actually easier than you may think.


In Virginia, February and March are prime times to tackle the mulch beds. The first decision to make is what type of mulch you would like to use. Generally speaking, there are three main types; dyed black, dyed brown and natural double-shredded hardwood bark mulch. The dyed mulches are actually wood chips ground from pallets, stumps, construction scrap and other wood sources. These materials are chipped up and ran through a large mixer where the dye is applied and soaks into the chips. The dyed mulch does last much longer and most people like the long-lasting color. The drawbacks are that the dyes are not very good for your landscape plants and the chips do not stick together very well so it is very easy to knock or blow the chips from the beds. As far as hardwood bark mulch, it is just that; the bark from hardwood trees. Most of the hard wood bark mulch comes from lumber yards where the bark is stripped from oak logs then ground into the mulch. Hardwood bark mulch is very good for the soil and decomposes into rich organic matter that makes the soil in the beds very fertile. The only drawback is that it does tend to fade over a few months.


So now you’ve chosen your mulch, edged the bed and installed the mulch. Now what? Yes, mulch does help to prevent weed growth but over time weeds will win out and then you are left with a big mess to clean up. Want a solution? Stop the weeds before they even start. To accomplish this some people will put down a barrier of plastic for felt in the beds before mulching thinking that weeds will not be able to grow through. This is generally effective for the first 6 months, although, weed seeds will make it into the mulch itself, germinate and grow in the mulch without ever setting roots in the soil. Also, mulch does not stick to these barriers so if the mulch is on an incline, it can actually slide off. The real solution? Snapshot weed preventer. Snapshot is a granular product that may be applied under the mulch, on top of the mulch or both. When properly applied and watered in, Snapshot will prevent over 90% of weed growth in the beds. It works by stopping the germination and root production of seeds and seedling weeds. Much like Preen and other similar products, Snapshot is made to prevent the weeds but can be applied right over top of existing trees, shrubs and flowers and bulbs without harming them. Snapshot is by far the best option.


So if you are tired of weedy mulch beds and backaches from pulling weeds, call American Green for a free quote to apply Snapshot weed preventer to your beds. American Green will apply the product in the spring and again in the late summer to keep your beds clean all year through. Weeds are maddening. Let us help give you a lawn and landscape you can be proud of. Call today and ask for Bill. 540-406-1766.