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Redwood Mulch: Pros and Cons

Redwood Mulch Pros and Cons

When you start a project using mulch, you need to choose a type of mulch. As you compare options, you need to consider your desires, your yard, and the pros and cons of the mulch. So what are the pros and cons of redwood mulch?

Is Redwood Good for Mulch?

Most importantly, you should understand the benefits of redwood mulch. This can help you figure out if it’s the right option for you. Fortunately, redwood comes with its share of benefits.

For instance, this type of mulch preserves the moisture in the soil well. Therefore, if you grow anything in that area, those plants will have adequate moisture. This is because it’s natural mulch.

Redwood mulch is also good for suppressing weed growth well. As a result, it’s an excellent choice if you’re using it in a garden or on a path because you won’t have to contend with a significant amount of weeding.

If you use redwood mulch for a garden, it’ll help shield your plants from extreme temperatures. It works as an insulator, so your plants won’t be subject to extreme changes.

You don’t have to worry about additives, chemicals, or artificial dyes with redwood mulch. The mulch is natural. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about those harmful substances around your plants.

You could also benefit from redwood mulch if the deep color appeals to you and accent your landscape well. This is especially the case when you consider that other natural mulches aren’t so vibrant. It can also be dyed if you’d like the benefits of redwood mulch without the color.

Cons of Redwood Mulch

You risk the mulch containing toxic substances by using redwood mulch, though this isn’t common with every redwood mulch. The toxic substances are harmful to plants and even kill them.

The redwood mulches that contain toxins are ones that were let to sit in large piles. The mulch that’s underneath the pile doesn’t receive oxygen. This is why you should carefully inspect and smell the mulch before you buy it. When you sniff it, take notice of a vinegar smell. If you’ve ever been around silage, which is fodder that undergoes fermentation, the smell may be similar to that.

Another con of redwood mulch is a con of all mulches; this landscaping option isn’t permanent. You will need to replace it, usually about once every three to four years. This happens because of the weather washing the mulch out. Anyone who walks on it will compress it into the ground if this is on a path.

Additionally, redwood mulch blocks the sun from the plants underneath it when laid right. This is why it effectively reduces the number of weeds that pop up. However, since it blocks out the sun, if you’re growing anything from a seed or seedling, it may not thrive well when it’s surrounded by redwood mulch or mulch in general.

Especially since redwood mulch is natural, it’s known to create shelter for insects. While they can’t find food there, except if there are other bugs, they like the moisture underneath the mulch. In addition, bugs also like to hide under the chunks to protect themselves from the elements and predators. While they will move on when they need food, it’s important to know that mulch acts as an insect hotel, especially a natural variety.

In general, redwood mulch takes quite some time to dry after a hard or long rain. Therefore, you’ll experience times when the mulch doesn’t look very aesthetically appealing until it has time to dry out. You also have to keep this in mind if you’re using it as a path. The ground nearby will already be dried out, but the mulch will still be wet because it retains moisture well.

Is Redwood Mulch Safe for Pets?

If you’re a pet parent, one of your main concerns when choosing a mulch is whether it’s safe for pets. Unfortunately, redwood is toxic to dogs. It has to do with the mold that can grow on it. If your dog happens to ingest some, they may not have any symptoms. However, it can lead to an increased respiratory or heart rate in large quantities. Their temperature may also rise.

redwood is toxic for dogs

On the other hand, redwood mulch isn’t toxic to cats. You won’t have any issues if your feline should dig in your redwood mulch.

Keep in mind that you also have to worry about any dyes if you choose to use a redwood that isn’t in its natural state.

Redwood mulch might be an option for a patio, seating area, garden, or path. It looks visually appealing, but you must smell the material first because it can contain harmful substances when not properly stored.


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