Sourcing fiber is perhaps the single greatest variable in the mulch industry. Some producers routinely have trouble finding material, while others enjoy markets that are consistently flooded with cheap fiber. More and more these days, that cheap fiber comes in the form of green waste. While the influx of green waste has created opportunities in many cases, it has also brought disruption to the industry. That’s why mulch producers need to understand all of the issues surrounding green waste, including the true costs. Here are a few things every mulch producer should know about green waste mulch.
Hesitation gives way to sustained
success for colored mulch producer
When Shawn Nutter bought Apollo Wood Products in 2014, he didn’t see much of a need for colored mulch products. But success would quickly change his mind.
The colored mulch market had been relatively slow to mature in southern California and there were already several competitors producing colored mulch in the area. As a result, Nutter didn’t even take the wrapper off his new ColorTrom machine for the first few months.
Choosing colored mulch for your next project is a great way to add beauty to your landscape design while improving the health of your soil and plants. But you can’t just throw some mulch down and expect everything to be perfect. To get the best results, you need to take a little time to prepare your mulch beds properly. Here’s how to do it, plus some tips on how to take care of your mulch once it’s installed.
What is colored mulch?
Colored mulch is wood, often scrap wood or recycled wood product, that is dyed with iron oxide or carbon-based pigment to produce vibrant reds, browns, blacks or other unique colors. Colored mulch is safe, environmentally friendly and can provide a boost of color to any landscaping design.
When the colored mulch industry first started in the early 1990s, mulch producers were using both liquid and dry coloring systems to manufacture their products. At one point, dry colorant made up roughly 75% of the market. But that has largely changed, and for good reason. Dry colorant poses serious health and safety hazards, which is why ChromaScape stopped selling dry pigment products for mulch colorant altogether. While other colorant suppliers have moved away from dry pigment as well, there are still some out there who rely on selling dry pigment. Whether you’re currently using dry colorant or considering it, here’s a look at the risks and responsibilities associated with dry mulch colorant.
Whether you’re buying a new car for yourself or a small toy for one of your kids, personal safety is a major concern for any consumer. The same is true when it comes to colored mulch. Mulch producers, landscapers and home owners alike all want to know the product they’re using is safe. That’s why mulch colorant manufacturers like ChromaScape put so much care into crafting products that are safe for people, pets and the environment. Let’s explore some common safety concerns to see why colored mulch is a fun, decorative and safe addition to any landscaping project.
“Spring wash” is what happens when colorant product washes away due to high moisture levels, typically during the spring season. Even the highest-quality mulch colorant can experience washing if the colorant isn’t fully dried.
Landscaping may be a seasonal industry, but the mulch business operates on a more fluid calendar. Some mulch producers choose to shut down their coloring operations in the winter months, particularly in northern climates. Others forge ahead, coloring, bagging and shipping product all year long. In either case, when the weather turns cold, you need to take extra steps to protect your equipment or you could end up facing some costly repairs. To save money and keep your operation running smoothly, here are some tips on how to winterize your mulch coloring equipment.
For mulch producers, two of the greatest threats to profitability are mold and fungus. These creeping organisms can be difficult to eradicate and threaten the viability of your entire mulch supply. The bird’s nest fungus, the “stinkhorn” and the “dog vomit” slime that can spread on mulch surfaces may all be familiar to landscape mulch producers. But there’s one kind of fungus that can be particularly troublesome: the artillery fungus. This pesky intruder causes headaches for producers, mulch applicators and homeowners alike. Here’s what it is, why it’s so harmful and what you can do to stop it.
The seasonality of the landscaping industry makes it difficult for colored mulch manufacturers to predict exactly how much product they’ll need and when. That’s why many suppliers often end up storing a significant amount of mulch colorant, sometimes for months on end. While storing any product seems like a passive process, you actually need to be proactive to ensure you’re maintaining the colorant properly or it could become unusable, wasting your investment. Here are some helpful tips on storing and maintaining your mulch colorant so you can produce the best product at the lowest cost for your business.