IMPORTANT NOTE RELATED TO COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS AND OUR BUSINESS: Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We at Stone Distributors like all the other businesses in our area are monitoring the situation closely and practicing the proper guidelines set by the World Health Organization. The safety of our customers and my staff is of the utmost importance.
That being said, I am planning on staying open as long as I’m allowed. And let’s be honest, if you are practicing social isolation with your family, you are probably ready to get outside and do some projects now that you have some totally unexpected free time on your hands, lol. I want to thank you all for your continued support and patronage! Stay safe and healthy.
Onto today’s topic: Mulch…
Mulch. There are actually quite a few different substrates that you can use to fill in, or at least cover the bare spots in their flower beds, rock beds and other landscapes around the outside of your home. When you weigh the pros and cons of each against each other, we believe that Mulch is the best of them all.
Keep in mind that whichever substrate you choose to use it is only one part of what should be your comprehensive strategy for filling in your landscapes, particularly those closest to the foundation of your home. Ultimately, you want the best combination of the substrate looking good while not inviting either water or pest intrusion into your foundation. Bottom line is you do not have to give up an attractive look to keep the water and termites away – but this does require some research and planning on your part.
The most effective substrate in our estimation for combining an eye-pleasing look, reasonable cost, is… Mulch. One worry, most people bring up is that the color will fade. This is true. But if you do nothing at all you should still get 9 months to a year of acceptable color. If you go out every three months and till up the mulch you can probably get up to 18 months of good color. You can just go out once in the fall and till it and extend the life.
Another argument people bring up when we endorse Mulch to them is that it is way more expensive than Pine Straw. On the front end this is true. But pine straw actually fades faster than mulch. And it is actually recommended that you top the pine straw every three months, to maintain the fresh look. So if you do what we suggest it is MORE MONEY to pine straw your beds instead of mulch.
We prefer the more natural-looking mulches like the types we carry here at Stone Distrbutors because they have a nicer look, they are competitively priced so you can use it for your entire landscaping needs while also checking all of the other boxes.
Then you say, “But I hear that mulch has a tendency to attract termites to my foundation. That is the last thing I want!”
It is time to bust that myth right here and now. How do I know? Because I have had mulch in all the landscaping around my home here in the Marietta area since I have lived here. That covers almost 20 years… and I have never had a termite problem. In addition, I have worked with quite a few local residents, been to their homes and witnessed similar results.
In fact, Mulch actually acts like a sponge to retain water when there is excessive amounts, pulling it away from your foundation. At the same time, during excessive hot, dry periods it will keep some moisture locked into the ground below it, which is also good for your foundation.
Now, I am not saying that no one has ever had a termite, ant or other bug problem around their home who used mulch. But what I am saying is that in most every case there was another underlying factor that had much more to do with their bug problem then the mulch. And I am saying the same thing to you here.
If you have a termite, bug or rodent issue that is threatening the foundation of your home, then look at these other factors:
- Drainage. Do I have the proper drainage leading water/moisture away from my home?
- This is a big one, as improper drainage leads to water collecting around your foundation that should be draining away. Pests like moisture. Too much moisture can also eventually lead to cracks in the cement of your foundation.
- Planting big trees too close to your foundation. If you have maples, cottonwoods or banyan trees close to your home, these could also be the cause of your problem. Their roots can attract insects while also weakening the cement in the foundation over time. I know of a home having to be demolished because a banyan tree planted over 10 yards from the foundation in less than 4 decades had pushed through the foundation wall, making the entire home structure unsafe.
- Faulty gutters and/or extensions. Gutters that do not properly take water from your roof and move it away from your home can have the exact opposite effect that you are looking for. They can cause too much water to inundate the areas around your foundation, making it more susceptible to forming cracks and leaks. Check your gutters at least once a year (twice – beginning of spring and in the fall is even better) to make sure they cleared of clutter and water flows through them and out the extensions and away from your foundation properly.
By properly identifying what is causing the trouble with your foundation you can fix the issue before it becomes a much bigger, and much costlier, problem. And in the meantime, you will also find that using mulch is a sound part of your overall landscaping plan.
At this time we remain open with regular hours – Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on Sunday. You can also contact us at (678) 354-0566 or by visiting us online at https://www.stonedist.com or on our Stone Distributors Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/stonedist/. Be safe and be well.