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.

Simple DIY Low Maintenance Flowers This Spring

gorgeous spring flowers

                                       Spring Flowers Add Color

care free hanging baskets

Care Free Hanging Baskets

One of my neighbors loves her spring flower baskets.

Unfortunately, her husband is ill and she was worried that she could not keep her flowers watered this year she needed an easy gardening solution.

Now she has drip irrigation forever more.

Most people know us as “the nearly world famous” rubber mulch folks.  Our products offer low maintenance solutions to mulch, weeding, and watering.  My neighbor knows we love low maintenance landscape solutions so she asked me to help her keep her flower baskets and pots looking great without the daily watering hassle.

Here is the solution:

  1. Plant flowers and use soil moist.  I won’t plant anything without it.  What is soil moist?  It is a soil additive that looks like granulated sugar.  It holds numerous times it’s weight in water. It swells up and retains water at the root level keeping your plants hydrated.  A small pinch will do and it is worth it’s weight in gold during hot summer months especially in hanging baskets that have a small amount of soil.
  2. Use drip irrigation.  Simply buy some black poly hose and string it through the branches or bury underground.  It is inexpensive and lasts for years.  Once this Sycamore fills out no one will ever know the irrigation is from above!

DIY irrigation for spring flowers

3. Install little barb fittings to connect 1/4″ hose to the pot waterer.  They come in many different forms.  Short and tall watering spikes that shoot water out in a fan, as a drip, or with a little adjustable sprinkler head like these that can shoot out up to 3′.

drip irrigation save water spring flowers

Drip Irrigation Saves Time and Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Pick up a small battery powered timer that connects to a garden hose.  You will need an adapter to go from your garden hose to the black poly pipe.  The timer can be set to water any day or any time you like.  Now you can maintain your busy lifestyle and come home to gorgeous flowers all season long!

drip irrigation how to

One Adapter-Two Hose Clamps and a Piece of Old Hose Connects Your Hose to Poly Pipe

This is project makes a great mother’s day gift or project to enjoy with your kids.  I did 10 baskets for under $100 and it will be there for years to come.

 Now you can make it rain anywhere you want anytime you want.

UPDATE

A few weeks have gone by and now you can see how the drip irrigation and some Osmocote have helped!  Best thing is the owner has not done a bit of work!

flower bed with drip irrigation and rubber mulch

Low maintenance withe DIY irrigation and rubber mulch.

Pine Straw-Soon to be Banned?

synthetic pine staw in the landscape

The texture of pine straw without the expense of replacement.

Looking for a great looking alternative to rubber mulch?  Artificial pine straw may be your new favorite straw product.

Although relatively inexpensive, traditional pine straw has always had its downsides.  As some municipalities have found and others are investigating, natural pine straw can be very flammable.  Although not a top concern for the average homeowners, 6 houses were destroyed in Raleigh in 2010 due to a fire that spread quickly through pine straw used in landscape beds.  This prompted Raleigh to institute a pine straw ordinance prohibiting the use of pine straw in many common applications.  Other agencies in numerous states are currently examining the drawbacks of using this material.

Besides the fire threat, pine straw does need annual replacement and is prone to need mid season raking to maintain its color and uniform depth.

There is a standout product in the pine needle arena.  Artificial pine straw avoids the numerous drawbacks of using traditional pine straw as mulch or groundcover.  It lasts for years, retains it color year after year, and provides the same weed control properties.  Saving maintenance time and expense year after year.

Spring is Here! Check Out the Great Colors in Southern Alabama

white azaleas add an elegant touch to spring

Sheer Elegance

azalaes2

Who needs groundcover with a display like this?

This weekend I had the great fortune of meeting some great people and seeing some great spring color in Southern Alabama along Mobile Bay.  We were visiting some of our Everlast Rubber Mulch customers and some friends. Everywhere we went we were greeted with huge splashes of great Southern landscape designs.

Azaleas of all types:  Gerbing, Southern Charm, Solomon’s, Formosa, Fashion, Double Reds, and more.

Color in the landscape creates curb appeal, increases your enjoyment of your property, and provides some true hope for change.  Color can leave an indelible mark on your outlook, attitude, and perspective.

Rubber mulch provides a rare tool to add a long lasting vibrant backdrop to your artistic landscape creations.  Red rubber mulch contrasts with your green foliage, brown rubber mulch provides a dark backdrop to create formal gardens, and our own Southern Cypress can add a neutral balance to help provide some transition between lush green lawns and colorful landscapes.

No matter how you choose to add some color to your landscape this year just be sure that you do…..colors change with the seasons but the wait is worth it!

rubber mulch color alternative

Incredible

More Than Just Rubber Mulch

 

rubber mulch and outdoor living products

Rubber Mulch and More

Most people know that Everlast Rubber Mulch was the original landscape rubber mulch product and that quality has been our hallmark from the beginning.  Utilizing high heat driers and providing a truly no bleed rubber mulch product in a variety of colors for over a decade.  Our lawn and garden experience goes back much further though, and our eye for quality products comes from hand picking plant material for our nursery from some of the finest growers in the U.S.

Today we offer a huge selection of quality products to enhance your outdoor living experience this spring.

Rubber Mulch for Weed Control

Running a garden center in Florida over the years has taught me a thing or two about low maintenance gardening.  People move to Florida to retire, relax, and pursue their hobbies. Yard maintenance is dreaded by many in the Sunshine State.  Everyday we are asked by customers at our nursery “what is  the best solution to common wood mulch problems?”  Most don’t want to weed their gardens in the summer heat nor do they want to spend money year after year mulching their beds. There are options and here we will look at a few of them.

Wood mulch problems are obvious; especially in a climate that sees torrential downpours combined with blistering heat.

wood mulch weed problem

Wood Mulch with Weed Block after 8 months

Stone can make an excellent groundcover.  Interestingly some local communities disallow the use of stone in landscaping due to safety concerns surrounding rocks thrown by mowers.  It is imperative when using stone in Florida that a geo-textile fabric (aka weed block) be used.  The cloth provides one function; keeping the stones from sinking into the soil after a few years.  Unfortunately, without regular maintenance the “weed fabric” becomes the problem over time.  Soil collects on top of the fabric and weed seed will germinate in the potting soil.  Once the root of the weed pushes through the fabric the root structure seeks the moisture held in the woven or perforated fabric.  Once this happens you can not pull the weed without lifting/distorting the weed mat.  Assuming regular maintenance is planned, especially starting in the third year, stone is a great choice.  One yard of stone generally weighs one ton and will cover 100 square feet.

stone mulch

The plants are weeds! One of our “snowbirds” came home to this after being away only 6 months.


Glass Mulch 
is really neat!  The colors are often nearly iridescent but the cost is simply too much for our local customers.  Awesome for fire pits and water features but for general landscaping we don’t carry glass mulch due to the high cost and limited availability.

Pine Straw is a common landscape product used from Central Florida through the Carolinas and Georgia.  Inexpensive and often taken from local pine forests, pine straw offers a different texture and color than other products.  It is not uncommon for customers to request new pine straw 2 and 3 times a year.  Although the product is extremely cost effective, don’t forget to figure labor costs into your annual budget.  Some communities are questioning the use of pine straw due to flammability concerns.

Synthetic Pine Straw offers the same look and texture of natural pine straw without the need to replace it multiple times a year; it actually lasts for years.  Textraw produces this great product and it is more expensive initially but it offers an excellent long term solution.

synthetic pine staw in the landscape

The texture of pine staw without the expense of replacement.

Rubber Mulch is our preference for a few reasons.  I am adamantly opposed to the use of weed fabric in our local area.  We provided landscape design and maintenance for decades and many days our crews were out raking up thick rotten beds of wood mulch and ripping out the weed fabric underneath due to the fact it had degraded over time or weed seed had so infiltrated the landscape bed that the battle was simply too large for our customer.  To this day I will not offer our customers weed fabric even if they are using one of the many colors of wood mulch we sell.
 Rubber Mulch is the weed blocker.  It stays dry and traps the airborne weed seed in the rubber where it dehydrates.  It performs as weed block should without trapping organic matter at the surface-it simply washes through.  This is why we insist that all rubber mulch should be put down at 2″ thick; any thinner and the rubber mulch will only provide come color.  Many brands of rubber mulch are sold in small .8 cubic foot bags (approximately 20 lbs) and the manufacturers show coverage tables on the bag listing one inch thick so that it appears that the bag goes further.  One common issue our customers have is that they buy these bags to try, and it becomes obvious that the great low price they found at the Big Box simply doesn’t save them any money over Everlast Rubber Mulch.  Everlast does not use crumb rubber filler and is packaged in a 1.15 cubic foot bag (approximately 30 lbs) which covers 7.5 square feet at the magic 2″ depth.  Available in bulk as well.  A yard of rubber mulch weighs one third of a yard of stone (700 lbs) and covers 170 square feet in the landscape.  If you just want some color go ahead and figure 15 square feet of coverage per bag.  We manufacture and sell Everlast Rubber Mulch and our proud that we offer great pricing, excellent performance, and real world gardening solutions to all of our customers.  If you are ever in Central Florida come by and check out the nursery. I have collected some rare and unusual plant species over the years….ever seen black grass?

By the way….for all the naysayers on rubber mulch and stunting plant growth.  I have been growing azaleas among other species in my landscape for years and they are gorgeous and tough for most people to grow due to the high water and acid requirements.  Our experience shows us daily that plants thrive-long term-in Everlast Rubber Mulch.

red landscape rubber mulch in garden

Colorfast Over a Decade and No Weed Block Expense!