Protect your garden during the warm winter

seed pods frozen in winter

Because of climate change, we’re looking at an unseasonably warm winter. This affects many things about the coming season: your wardrobe, outdoor activities, and yes, even garden upkeep and care.

 

Warm winter and weed growth

reeds

Many gardeners agree that winter weeds are relatively easier to control than those that grow in other seasons. Autumn is the best time to treat weeds since September to October are the peak months for their germination period. Neglecting to treat them could mean a garden overrun with weeds come springtime. It’s best to avoid this, since it’s harder to get a neglected garden back in shape than if you actively try to keep it weed-free before the winter.

 

In the cold, weeds hardly germinate and most die once chill sets in. Don’t get lulled into a false sense of security that you will find your garden weed-free come springtime, though. With a warm winter, expect the weeds to act as they would in the spring and summer. Not only will they germinate and spread in the same manner as summer weeds – you can also expect other types of weeds to find their way into your garden if you aren’t careful.

 

Weeds to watch out for

grass

Winter weeds come in two general types: grass and broadleaf. Grassy weeds are distinguishable by their longer leaf blades and parallel veins. They can be annual like bluegrass, or perennial like quackgrass.   

 

Broadleaf weeds also have annuals and perennials. They come from seeds that have two leaves, and are identifiable by veins that look like nets. Some broadleaves have distinct flowers like dandelions. Annual broadleaf weeds exist in twelve-month periods – meaning they germinate, grow, and then die within a year. Some winter annuals include chickweed, deadnettle, white clover, and bluegrass. Perennials are those that grow for two years or more. They’re the products of tubers or bulbs, and rarely, seeds. They’re harder to control, so take extra care to look out for their kind: white clover, dallisgrass, and buttercups in winter. However, because of the unseasonable warmth, there could be dandelions and plantains – typical summer broadleaf weeds – in the mix.   

 

How to arrest weed growth

plants getting overrun with weeds

Temperature plays a big role in weed management. Never neglect to mulch as it helps insulate roots and keeps nourishment where it’s needed while protecting from the onslaught of seasonal weed. Mulching also helps soil temperatures remain even during frost or heat, but always check soil temperature to determine the depth and amount of mulching needed. You may have wintertime mulching scheduled, but unpredictable weather could change some of those activities.

 

In normal winter seasons, a herbicide typically takes two to three weeks to be effective, as opposed to just a week during summer. With warm winters becoming more apparent, it only makes sense to constantly check the temperature to determine the proper application and timing of weed killers. You can hand-weed recognizable weeds first.

 

You might need to introduce watering to your gardening itinerary for a warm winter. The soil will be thirsty, and so will your plants’ roots. Irrigate properly and regularly (every three to five days, again depending on the temperature) to keep roots properly moist and nourished.

 

Summer Brings Weeds Even in Rubber Mulch

Even though our rubber mulch products can reduce weed growth by up to 95%, weeds can be difficult to control especially if they are not addressed properly.  Tips for installation are here.

Proper landscape bed preparation is key to a low maintenance garden.  This includes identifying the soil conditions and weed seed prior to mulching and acting accordingly. Pre-emergents are immensely helpful in cutting down new weed growth encouraged by fresh mulch and the moisture it will retain.

Once new rubber mulch is installed, proper weed identification is key to eradicating them. In the South, we often see a long ropy grass that we know as “torpedo grass”.  This plant is an invasive weed and is difficult to kill as standard glyphosate (Round Up) based products have little to no effect.  We have found that diquat and glyphosate applied multiple times over a ten day period will knock this plant down if not kill it completely.

Another invasive difficult to control weed is nutsedge.  This weed has to be treated with a product specifically designed for it.  The plant has underground nutlets that turn in to new plants when the main plant is pulled…..again glyphosate is ineffective against this variety.

Unfortunately, the world is an incredibly diverse place and plants are very persistent as we have all seen weeds growing through concrete and asphalt!  There are no silver bullets for landscape weed control and selecting the proper tools to control invasive weeds is key.  Rubber mulch will perform as advertised when applied properly and is a huge step towards creating a low maintenance landscape.

Natural Beauty is Tough to Beat

green moth

 

Even though we all see red/orange wood mulch seemingly everywhere and at times it can be a bit garish, the good news is there are other options for mulch colors.

One of our favorite rubber mulch colors is our Southern Cypress.  This color hides leaves and is very natural in appearance.  Many of our customers have sprinkled a bit on their red or brown rubber mulch if they are installing the product under trees that spew a ton of leaves.

brown rubber mulch with stone and flowers.

Top 5 Rubber Mulch Facts

Top 5 Rubber Mulch Facts

brown rubber mulch with stone and flowers.

  1. Everlast Rubber Mulch does not float.  Our tire rubber mulch has a specific gravity greater than 1 so it is heavier than water!
  2. Everlast Rubber Mulch weighs approximately 26 pounds per cubic foot.  Our “value sized” bags of rubber mulch at 1.15 cubic feet weigh approximately 30 lbs. vs a .8 cubic foot bag (30% smaller) weighing less.
  3. 23 bags of Everlast make 1 cubic yard vs 34 bags of .8 cubic foot bags equal a cubic yard (27 cubic feet).
  4. Everlast holds water.  Let’s say a pile of rubber mulch gets wet via a heavy rain. The rubber in the middle of the pile will be wet no matter how much time goes by or sun shines on it.  The water is trapped due to condensation.  Rubber mulch has a high R value and the center of the pile stays too cool to evaporate-too cool!
  5. Everlast rubber mulch nugget pieces do not hold water individually.  Therefore the top layer of the mulch stays dry and acts as a weed barrier.  Weed seed that falls into the bed simply dehydrates before germinating.  With Everlast you can save your money and not buy weed block.

Mulch For the Holidays and Spring

With the holiday season quickly approaching, who doesn’t want their property looking great for their in-laws and guests?  Now that the summer heat has let go it is a great time to mulch and save some money going forward.

Just think, you can make your home more attractive than ever and know that when the snow melts it will look just as great!  Everlast Rubber Mulch looks great year after year. Available in 7 rich and vibarant colors…colors that last.  Remember the old adage “the only thing you get with a pile of wood mulch is a coupon to go back and bet more”.  Mulching once with Everlast Rubber Mulch not only reduces weed growth but also keeps your landscape budget working for you.  Next spring you can buy more annuals and perennials, enjoy your weekends by not having to mulch, and forget about lugging bags or wheelbarrows once or twice a year across the lawn!

We can ship direct via our online store or find a dealer near you.

Don’t forget that every bag of Everlast Rubber Mulch reduces landfill use…recycling at its best!

red landscape rubber mulch in garden

Colorfast Over a Decade and No Weed Block Expense!

Why Rubber Mulch is Colorfast

Red Wood Mulch After  Rain

Wood Mulch After a Rain

One of the best characteristics of rubber mulch for landscapes and playgrounds is the way it is colored.  Various companies use different methods but the general concept is the same.

Mulch colorant 101……

Wood mulch is colored using a colorant that is more like a stain than a coating.  Wood mulch absorbs colorant based on how dry it is, how open the cells are, how much colorant is applied, and how long it is allowed to soak.

Wood mulch can only hold it’s color as long as the wood fiber is there to hold it.  In other words, as the wood mulch continues to decay, the color leaves with the wood fiber that falls away.

Everlast rubber playground mulch is coated with a colorant that includes a binder.  Since rubber will not absorb anything due to it’s closed cell nature, a binder must be used to adhere the pigment to the particle.  Everlast Kids Rubber Mulch utilizes automotive grade pigments with a world class binder to coat the rubber particles.  The color will last as long as the binder adheres to the rubber mulch and our products last up to 15 years in most weather conditions.  Everlast Rubber Mulch has been used from middle eastern desert environments to near tundra conditions and our products perform year after year.

Rubber Mulch doesn’t float either making sure your money stays put…..

Red Rubber Mulch in Landscape Bed

Colorfast-Won’t Float-Weed Resistant

Here in our nursery I like to say “at the bottom of every wood mulch pile is a coupon to come back and get more”.  If you are tired of mulching take a look at our products and find out why we are the “nearly world famous” rubber mulch.

Rubber Mulch-Heavy Rains-Reduce the Chances of Fungus

This time of year we are asked daily if “rubber mulch will float”.  One of the original reasons we started with rubber products here in our nursery was the fact that it does not float.  Rubber is heavier than water and with all of the rain we have had lately I suspect our wood mulch sales will increase significantly by summer’s end due to the material wash out and color fade typical in wood mulch.  This also applies to wood mulch used in playgrounds.  Spring wood mulch is starting to weather and will need to be freshened up for the fall…..keep an eye out for fungus.  Artillery fungus is another issue see post here.

Summer is a great time to install Everlast Rubber Mulch.  By removing years of decaying wood mulch from your landscape beds you can reduce the threat of fungus which will be very prominent especially in the South Eastern U.S. this summer.  Removing mulch fungus starts with removing organic wood mulch.  Rubber Mulch doesn’t hold any water and allows proper soil aeration greatly reducing the fungal threat in your landscape.  Installing rubber mulch now will guarantee that your fall and winter beds will look fantastic for visiting relatives during the holidays.

You can finally throw the coupon away-you know the coupon at the bottom of every wood mulch pile-“See you again!”

Rubber Mulch and Water Retention

landscape rubber mulch saves waterAsk any gardener or landscaper for mulch recommendations and you will certainly get an answer with some conviction and seldom will opinions match.  There are some universal truths to mulching though and general observation can tell us one universal truth.

Wood mulch that is applied year after year becomes rotten underneath and matted on top.  This leads to water shedding; water is directed away from the root zone and aeration of the root zone is greatly impacted.  Water simply can not penetrate a thick layer of matted wood mulch and therefore this is certainly a bad mulch practice.

Rubber mulch never mats or rots and is always permeable.  Therefore, all water runs straight through with no water shed.  Rubber also holds moisture in the ground.  If we have a semi load of rubber mulch that is soaking wet and leave it on a concrete pad in the hot Florida sun the material will never dry out.  The water will remain trapped in the rubber because rubber is an insulator.  The top is warm and the middle is cool so the water doesn’t escape.

Years ago we were presented with an opportunity in Dubai.  No matter what the customer tried they could not hold moisture in the ground until they top dressed with Everlast Rubber Mulch.  The rubber mulch allowed all of the irrigation to flow through to the plants and held the water in the ground.  The soil temperature was only 2 degrees warmer than the wood much beds due to the insulative nature of rubber mulch.

This is exactly why rubber mulch acts as weed barrier.  The rubber stays dry so weed seed dehydrates before it reaches the soil.  It is just that simple!

For more information on our landscape rubber mulch and playground rubber mulch please visit our websites Everlast Rubber Mulch or Playground Rubber Mulch.

Gardening and Rubber Mulch for Mental Health?

I just read a great article in American Nurseryman magazine by the editor Sally Benson who was paraphrasing a radio program she heard recently.  The discussion revolved around the fact that our daily lives are immersed in rigid geometric shapes….from the TV, cellphone, computer screen, rooms in our homes, offices, SUV’s, etc.  Seems like everything around us is just another box.

stress relief through gardening

Stress Relief

I believe that second only to pets, gardening can provide a fantastic outlet and stress reliever for those of us living in a busy and urgent world.  Every morning I look forward to checking on my gardenia’s progress from the day before.  My home landscape is covered with blooming beauties and of course a few different colors of my “Nearly World Famous” Everlast Rubber Mulch.

I love to landscape due to the fact that my mind relaxes while I check on the progress of all my favorite plants and I am constantly expanding my plant varieties.  I thoroughly enjoy mixing colors and creating refreshing contrasts to my world which is full of black bordered monitors and sterile websites and data streams.

I am extremely busy but still make time for my landscape in part because I don’t have to spend my time weeding my beds….I am lucky because I get to focus on the fun side of gardening-the sensory experience that doesn’t involve sweat!

Do yourself a favor and take a good look at our low maintenance rubber mulch products….the dividends can be life changing.

Control Weeds for a Low Maintenance Garden This Spring

One of the best reasons to consider rubber mulch is the fact that it acts as a weed barrier. Every day in our nursery someone comes by frustrated with weeds in their landscape or turf and they are looking for solutions.  Everlast will help prevent new weeds from appearing but existing weeds and weed seed do need to be dealt with properly for best results.

There are many forms of weed killer.  Weeds that have already sprouted need to be treated with a post-emergent product.  Weeds that have yet to sprout need to be handled with pre-emergent weed killer. Chemistry varies between products but Roundup or equivalents seem to be the go to product for many homeowners looking to kill existing weeds; but they are often frustrated by poor results.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient and you can think of it as suntan lotion for green leaves. It prevents the plant from utilizing the sunlight.  It is imperative that this type of product be applied when the plant is growing because that when it needs the most energy.  Applying weed killer too early in the season will not yield the best results.  Persistent tougher weeds may need to be coated more than once and I recommend 7 to 10 days between applications.  Some products contain a small percentage of diquat which is my favorite.

Yesterday a young lady came in complaining of dollar weed that seemed to be unaffected by the products she was using.  I have had great success using Roundup Quick Pro that contains just under 3% diquat.  I re-apply once the dollar weed starts to yellow and have had good luck keeping it under control.  When the dollar weed is in my turf I have to be very careful applying the product as it is non selective meaning it will affect nearly all varieties of plants not just the dollar weed.  My turf suffers a bit if I am not too careful but the results are worth it to me as the dollar weed gets the worst of it.

A quick note on Everlast and weed control with rubber mulch.  Our products stay dry.  Weed seed that blows into the beds gets trapped in the rubber which is why we recommend a 2″ depth.  All the water runs through the mulch since it never mats like rotten wood mulch.  We don’t recommend a weed fabric so organic material is never trapped in the mulch-weed seed won’t find any moisture above grade.  It is just that simple.