image of pair of hands holding rich raven black cypress mulch for safe mulch

Choosing a safe mulch for your yard

image of safe mulch in a wheelbarrow with a green lawn and veggie patch in the background Choosing a safe mulch for your yard is important. And it's never been easier than with these tips from the manager of Cypress Mulch, Blair Granger. Blair highlights what to look for before purchasing mulch to ensure your family, pets and the environment are safe. Cypress Mulch has been operating for 22 years. Its longevity and expertise makes them one of our most trusted suppliers. They pride themselves on their safety first approach. This includes their staff and wellbeing, and their production sites too. This commitment extends wholeheartedly to their products and aligns with our own emphasis on safety. "One of the reasons we use Cypress timber to make mulch is because this timber does not require any chemical treatments. And our coloured Cypress Mulches are dyed using natural colourants like iron oxide minerals ensuring that our products are safe to use," says Blair.

Choosing a safe mulch for your yard

Not every mulch is made to the same high standards. So, if you're in the market to buy mulch, read on for Blair's tips to ensure you're making a safe choice. You might be thinking, "I thought all mulch was safe?" Read on to find out why that isn't always the case.

Blair's tips for safe mulch purchase

When shopping for a mulch, what should customers look out for?

Termite resistance

If your garden is located anywhere near a timber framed structure like your house, fence line or garage we recommend using a cypress based mulch. This type is well known for its termite resistance.

Balance of materials

A good garden safe mulch needs the right balance of fine material and larger pieces. Finer material does a great job for weed suppression and water retention. And the larger particle size pieces keep the mulch open allowing air and water to penetrate. Woodchip is easily blown out of garden beds during storms and can float away during heavy rain. Mulches bed down and stay in place due to the balance of fine and coarse material.

Pet friendly

If you have pets, ensure you’re getting a wood-based mulch. While cypress is the variety we most recommend, pine and cedar are also safe mulches for your family pets.

Plantation grown

For the most sustainable option, look for plantation grown mulch. This is better for the environment than using trees from old growth forests. If you can’t tell from the product description, ask your landscape supplier for advice.

Natural dyes

If you are looking for a coloured product, be sure to choose a mulch dyed with natural elements. Products dyed with chemicals or synthetic materials may look good, but will likely not be safe for use around your pets or family. Look for a safe mulch coloured using industry-leading technologies for the effect you want, safely.

What are some things to avoid?

There are certain types of garden mulch you should avoid buying. This includes mulches:
  • made from recycled timber pallets which can contain CCA timber treatment.
  • created from recycled green waste which can contain contaminants and weed seed.
  • made from cocoa shells which contain theobromine, a toxin that is dangerous to dogs.
  • created from pine needs which can damage the stomach lining of your pet.
If you're unsure, ask your landscape supplier what material the mulch is made from. Then avoid anything that has not come from a sustainably controlled environment. image of pair of hands holding rick raven black cypress mulch for safe mulch

Are there any tips you can give for applying mulch?

It is important to spread all mulch 70-100mm thick. This is even more important if you're using a coloured mulch as its colour will fade over time due to sun bleaching or washout. Having mulch at 100mm depth gives you the opportunity to turn it over and refresh your garden without needing to top up your mulch.

What is the difference between red cypress mulch and dyed red woodchip?

Both our Cypress Red and Cypress Black Mulches are guaranteed to be made from 100% cypress timber and coloured with safe, industry-leading technologies. On the other hand, dyed woodchips can be made from various timbers, including recycled treated pallets. image of a large pile of red cypress safe mulch

What is it about cypress timber that makes it a great base for mulch?

The natural oils in cypress timber make it termite resistant. But they also make the mulch last longer and break down more slowly, offering a slow release carbon source for your soil.

What are some of the trends in mulch you have seen emerging over the last year?

We are starting to see our Cypress Black Mulch catch the Cypress Red in popularity as it offers an even greater contrast against plants. Landscape Architects are specifying our coloured mulches for high end residential and commercial projects every day now. They often tell me what’s on trend. But the natural colour of our other Cypress Mulches like Cypress Blend will always be a popular choice for gardeners wanting a natural look. Looking for more information about rocks, soils and everything landscaping? It’s easy to keep in the loop by following our blog page. Remember, if you’ve got any questions you can contact the friendly team at Rock n Soil anytime. We’re here to help!