Groundskeeper - Blog

Dyed Mulch vs Non-Dyed Mulch

in Mulch

I have been asked over the years about dyed mulch.

I have been asked over the years about dyed mulch. Traditionally I have recommended that dyed mulch not be used. The main reason for this was all bark hardwood mulch doesn’t hold the dye long enough so they used recycled material for dyed mulch. Although this mulch kept that dark color for a longer period of time, it provided none of the other benefits that bark mulch provides.

Holding its dark color for a long period of time is the least important thing mulch does. All bark hardwood mulch helps to preserve moisture that collects in the soil as a result of winter snow melt and spring rains. It also helps to keep soil cooler during the very hot, dry days of summer and prevents the roots of trees and shrubs from drying out. But in my opinion the best thing good mulch does is it suppresses weeds in beds. All bard hardwood decomposes and this causes temperatures to rise in the mulch. This processes helps keep weed seeds from being able to germinate and reduces unsightly weeds. The dyed mulches made from recycled materials doesn’t break down and provides little to no weed prevention.

A few years ago some of the mulch companies started dying all bark hardwood mulch. I have used both the black and brown types, I prefer the brown – the black looks fake too me, but that’s just personal preference. This mulch still won’t hold its color as long as the recycled stuff, but it does get through the season and still breaks down to help keep weeds down.

So I have placed Black Gold all bark hardwood mulch beside Brown Velvet all bark dyed brown mulch in my beds at home. I will be taking pictures throughout the season to see how both do and updating this post.