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What Is Red Mulch?

Mulching can prevent later weed growth.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2014
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A red mulch is a mulch product which has been colored red. There are a number of different kinds of red mulch products on the market, including wood products which are naturally red before they are chipped for mulch. Many garden supply stores and nurseries carry this type of mulch, and they may be able to order it by request from customers. Special orders for mulch usually require a large volume, so people with small gardens may want to consider placing a group order with neighbors; bulk orders also save on costs.

Natural mulch products such as cedar sometimes have a red tone. Chipped wood and bark mulches can also be dyed red, in addition to many other colors. Several companies make red plastic or rubber mulch, in several different styles including sheathes which cover the ground and sheets of red plastic which can be laid out in the garden.

Gardeners use mulch to help the soil retain water and nutrients, raise soil temperatures in cooler climates, and keep down weeds. A number of things can influence the choice of mulch, including the climate, the preferences of the plants being grown, and the aesthetics of the gardener. While red mulch may seem purely aesthetic in nature, it also provides a growing advantage to plants. It reflects more light in a red wavelength which stimulates plant growth, which means that applying red mulch can help plants grow stronger.

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Tomatoes in particular appear to be partial to red mulch, although growth rates and yields for all sorts of plants can be improved by using this mulch product. For ornamental gardens where yield may not be of as much interest, chipped red mulch can provide an interesting visual appearance, although some people find dyed mulches a bit overwhelming aesthetically. Gardeners should be aware that when they use a dyed mulch, the dye will rub off and enter the water table, and it will fade over time. Neighbors who complain may find it helpful to know that bright colors become more subdued fairly quickly, and that manufacturers use nontoxic dyes such as iron oxide in their mulches, due to concerns about the dye damaging the plants.

When applying mulch, gardeners should be careful to give plants some breathing room, rather than bringing the mulch right up to the stem or trunk. It is also important to weed before laying down mulch, and to avoid piling mulch too high. Old mulch should be removed before new mulch is installed, to avoid creating a thick layer of mulch which traps water and nutrients before it reaches the soil.

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Discuss this Article

anon278330
Post 5

One of my friends said their red mulch molded. How do I stop that from happening?

lighth0se33
Post 4

I have some red colored seashell mulch in my garden. The seashells are real shells from Florida that have been dyed for a uniform color. They are not flaming red, but they definitely have a red tone to them.

From a distance, this mulch resembles red wood mulch. Once you get closer, you can see the shapes of the shells and the details.

This mulch is guaranteed not to grow mold or disintegrate over time. Keeping mold out of my garden is important to me, because it could be detrimental to my plants. I work very hard on my garden, and it would be tragic for the very mulch I use to protect it to be the enemy.

StarJo
Post 3

My husband and I have seven large pecan trees in our yard, and we use the shells from the harvested nuts as mulch. Pecan shells have a reddish hue that makes them an attractive ground cover, and since they are so solid and thick, they are great at keeping weeds down.

Each fall, we pick and shell countless pecans. When we use the nutcracker on them, the shells break into several pieces of various size. We never throw them away.

Once we have finished shelling all the pecans for the year, we have several buckets full of red mulch. I've even had enough to share with my neighbors, who admired the look of it in my flower garden.

kylee07drg
Post 2

@Perdido – I have good news for you. Red cedar mulch is great at repelling many bugs, including flies and mosquitoes, which I'm sure are among the unwelcome guests at your cookouts.

I've been using it in both my vegetable garden and my flower garden. I like to do my gardening late in the day, and this is prime time for insects to be active. It is nice to be able to work out there without getting bitten all over.

Red cedar mulch is my favorite, because I absolutely love the smell of it. It blends well with the scent of my flowers, so the overall aroma is powerful and pleasing.

Perdido
Post 1

Can red cedar mulch help repel insects? I know that many people use cedar blocks in their closets to keep the moths away, so this makes me wonder if other insects would find cedar offensive.

I have a flower garden right in the area where I like to grill and entertain guests. I really hate it when bugs swarm around us, because it makes it really hard to enjoy our time outside.

Right now, I'm using regular gray wood chips as mulch around my flowers. If red cedar could help with my problem, I would gladly switch to it.

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