Frequently Asked Questions
1. What makes good mulch or top soil?
Mulch and top soil come in a variety of forms and substance, many of which are not suitable for gardening or landscaping but continue to be sold as such. Depending on the landscaping application, you should be on the lookout for a material that is:
- An organic substance, from some living or formerly living matter
- Fine or medium textured, so it will break down into the underlying soil
- Heavy and substantial enough to stay put when spread
- The appropriate color for ornamental beds
- Natural, organic and free of chemicals and additives
- Available locally at a good price, preferably in bulk and un-bagged
- Not a known source of contaminants, chemicals or pests
Any mulch used in ornamental beds should be fine-to-medium textured and dark colored to look better with surrounding landscaping. Black mulch, red mulch, and red mulch tend to be some of the most popular colors. Hardwood mulch, such as bark based mulch or mixed with the white wood, is the best mulch product available in Northwest Ohio. However, light leaf mulch is also available. Environmentally, it’s important to buy locally whenever you can, especially with bulk landscaping items like mulch and top soil.
2. Does hardwood bark mulch attract termites?
Bark mulch does not attract termites specifically, but it does give these pesky insects a chance to tunnel through the mulch, reaching structures below or behind the mulch bed. We recommend that you leave a barrier between the structure and the area you’re mulching. This way the termites and other insects will come in contact with light, stopping their tunneling process before reaching areas prone to termite damage, like window frames or the foundation of your home.
3. Does hardwood bark mulch attract insects?
Any organic material has the capability of attracting insects. This is not typically an issue, as insects work to break down natural material like mulch, part of the natural process of biodegrading. The mulch will not attract any more insects than would normally be located in a normal Northwest Ohio lawn.
4. Is your mulch treated with special chemicals or a fire retardant?
Clean Wood recycling does not treat any mulch with chemicals or retardants. They are 100% organic landscaping products, from original wood sources and recycling. It is important to know that mulch, especially when dry, can be flammable. If the mulch is hot to the touch, allow it to cool before placing it around your plants to prevent damage. In very dry weather, we recommend that you water your plants and the surrounding mulch bed, helping hold moisture in for your plants, as well as keeping the mulch from drying completely.
5. Which type of mulch is best?
The type of mulch you use depends on the specific application such as playground mulch vs. bulk landscaping mulch. First, decide the color and texture of mulch needed for the landscape design. Colors can include red, black, brown and orange mulch. Coarse mulch does well in large areas, typically around large trees and on hillsides. Medium to fine mulch works well around shrubs and flower beds. Finer mulch is designed for playground surfacing, dog runs, horse arenas and animal bedding. Feel free to ask Clean Wood’s mulch and landscaping experts to assist you in choosing the mulch or top soil that is most appropriate for your landscaping application.
6. What’s the difference between hardwood bark mulch, hardwood mulch and colored mulch?
Hardwood “bulk” mulch is made from the bark from hardwood trees. Hardwood mulch can be any mulch containing any kind of hardwood. It is typically both bark and white wood combined, or just the white wood. Colored mulch is a product made from hardwood materials and dyed to maintain long term color. All of our mulch is 100% organic and comes from natural sourced wood, with no chemicals or fillers added, making it ideal for water retention and weed deterrent in Northwest Ohio environments.
7. How much mulch or top soil do I need to cover?
One yard of mulch covers approximately a 10’ x 10’ area, 3” deep. One yard of top soil covers approximately a 10’ x 10’ area, 2” deep. To calculate the yardage that you will need, visit the our products page, located here. Please note, a standard size pick up truck bed can accommodate two cubic yards of mulch or top soil. A small pick up truck bed can accommodate one cubic yard of mulch or top soil. Please plan accordingly before making a pick up.
8. If I buy bags of mulch or top soil, how many will I need to cover?
You will need 13.5 two cubic foot bags of mulch to equal one cubic yard, or 9 three cubic foot bags to equal one cubic yard of mulch.
9. Sometimes I get mold on top of my mulch or top soil. What is it and is it harmful?
This is known as myxomycetes or slime mold. These molds live in moist places on decaying wood, leaves or other organic matter retaining abundant moisture, making mulch an ideal growth spot. The same type of organism is often seen in the woods on decaying logs and leaves, throughout Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. It can be very colorful in yellow, orange, or red, and is easily disposed of by simply turning the mulch over. This mold is not known to be harmful to plants or animals, is native to Northwest Ohio, and is not typically cause for concern.
10. Will mulch keep my beds weed free?
It will depend greatly on your bed preparation. Mulch helps eliminate most weeds and makes any that do come up easy to pull. For the best assurance on a weed free bed, it is best to treat areas with a pre-emergent while also using a weed barrier before applying mulch. All of our mulch is 100% organic and comes from natural sourced wood, with no chemicals or fillers added, making it ideal for water retention and weed deterrent in Northwest Ohio environments.