How to help mulch hold its color.
As an applicator, you want to make sure that you can work efficiently and effectively to avoid going back to customers to make corrections. This will keep your repeat customers coming back and your new customers satisfied But colored mulch can fade quickly due to low colorant application rates. Follow these suggestions on how to properly prepare your mulch colorant and kick out mulch that will hold its color.
Don't discount the water factor.
Water is valuable in the mulch coloring process. It enables the colorant to coat the wood fiber surface evenly. It also acts as a carrier between the wood and colorant particles until fully dried. Drying is just as important as application in this process because when mulch is completely dry, the colorant particles bond to the wood and cannot be broken by a rainstorm, humidity precipitation, or a water hose.
Prepare your mulch colorant.
A proper mulch colorant rate will result in good coverage on the substrate and stand up to various types of weather. If the mulch colorant is spread thinly on the substrate, it will not withstand the weather elements.
No matter the forecast, a universal rule is to properly mix the tote of colorant prior to use. This will ensure the right concentration is applied throughout the tote. This simple step could save you from having to reapply, as well as saving your company money.
Account for climate.
If you are located in a region known for certain types of weather, here are other steps you can take to protect the durability and longevity of colored mulch in your climate.
In states like Florida, water application is most critical. The moisture content of the raw material is a big factor in humid climates. When coloring after rain, water levels in your mulch colorant should be adjusted accordingly.
If you are in an area with lots of rain, the challenge is keeping the material dry. Many customers in the Pacific Northwest, for example, put material under a roof or pole barn to aid in the drying process.
It is helpful to pre-wet material in dry weather. Water is the carrying agent for the mulch colorant, so you may need to increase water rates if the wood is very dry.