Wednesday, May 9, 2012

All Mulch is Not Created Equal

The many varieties of mulch at CT Mulch
I thought that doing a story about how mulch is made for WFSB's Better Connecticut would be interesting. As I drove up to Connecticut Mulch Distributors in Enfield, Connecticut, my jaw dropped in amazement.  The production of this mulch is top notch and Kurt Lindeland, the second generation owner, knows what he's doing.  While my pictures give you a good idea of the mulch production, click HERE to watch the video below from Better Connecticut which does better justice of the scale of this operation.  It's nothing short of incredible!
 I've always stressed the importance of mulch in the garden.  It retains soil moisture, suppresses weeds, adds organic matter to the soil,and a fresh layer of mulch makes your plantings 'pop!', as I like to say.  Putting the correct mulch down makes a difference.  Low quality mulches can (and usually) contain garbage wood that could be contaminated with chemicals, disease, and insects.  Good quality mulch, like the mulch at CT Mulch is made of virgin bark.  The bark is collected all over New England from paper factories and wood mills.  It's good to know that trees are not getting robbed of their bark so that my gardens can look good.  What would be a waste product is transformed into mulch, making this a green product.  CT Mulch is wholesale only, so don't expect to pull up in your SUV and grab a few bags of mulch.  However, if you call the sweet ladies in the office, they will tell tell you the garden centers closest to you that carry CT Mulch.
Bark, as it arrives from a mill

A pile of rough bark

Mixing and moving bark towards the grinder

The grinder and belts create a finished mountain of mulch

This loader holds 10 cubic yards of mulch in one bucket.
 I think it's also big enough to pick up a Buick!

Mulch perfection! The finished product.

So, you never know how much mulch to get for your gardens? Take a few measurements to figure out the length and width of your your gardens.  I recommend maintaining a depth of three inches of mulch in the garden for adequate weed control.  Plug in these measurements into the mulch calculator on CT Mulch's Website and instantly, the cubic yards of mulch needed will appear.  Now, if only spreading mulch was that easy!

The property is full of very big trucks and machines

 Mack is the newest member of the CT Mulch team- it seems to be up in the air if he is to be a mascot or security. Since I caught him sleeping on the job I'm leaning towards mascot, but this face is pretty intimidating...

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