Much Ado About Mulch - Why I Hate the Stuff!

Home Stager with FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor

Mulch. It hides a multitude of sins. 

But there are aspects of it that are criminal!

  • It's a smorgasbord for termites.
  • It's made out of  discarded wood scraps, & contains chemicals that are NOT supposed to be in your garden.
  • Some of it is made from the husks of coconuts, and can kill your dog if he eats it. 
  • Some of it is made from old tires. Ground up tires are not good for the environment, nor for your plants.
  • It breeds fungi.
  • The acidity that mulch brings is  extremely counter-productive for the health & growth of plants.
And then there is the color.
Red Mulch is UGLY!
I pretty much despise red & brown mulch, because the make the flower bed look paltry, sickly, and RUINS EVERYTHING YOU PAID FOR & WORKED FOR when you bought the plants and lovingly raised them. 
The ONLY time I think mulch looks like a plus is when it is BLACK.  Black introduces the maximum contrast for plant to look it's very best in photographs, and makes the house stand out much more effectively in a premium setting. It brings the WOW, even when there isn't any.
But, with all it's dye, acid, termite appeal, and growth-stunting other properties, I hate black mulch, too. 
Compost is King!
So, what is there to do?
Answer: Black Compost. It is the answer to every curb appeal mulch problem. Two inches of compost are just as effective against weeds as two inches of mulch. 

Is it cheaper? No. It's more expensive. But if you are gonna spruce the place up, it sure beats the heck out of crummy marketing images of your yard, wasting a boatload of money on plants that won't thrive, and a dead dog. After all, compost is actually FUEL for your FLOWERS.



~Michelle Molinari

Lead Conceptual Designer,

Certified Property Consultant (CPC) & Certified Staging Professional (CSP)

SAR Staging Instructor, Staging and Redesign,

President of Acadiana Real Estate Staging Association,

Comments (14)

Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Best Hawaii Realtor!

Instead of black compost, here we use black volcanic cinder for decorating landscapes.  Some like the white or red, but black is most popular.

Jun 15, 2012 07:53 PM
Kathy Burke
Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA - Danville, CA
S.F. East Bay Home Staging

Michelle....I am so in agreement with you!  I think the RED mulch or Gorilla Hair is hideous and very hard on the eye.  The black is MUCH more appealing and I have used that same phrase with clients...."it hides a multitude of sins!"

Jun 15, 2012 11:58 PM
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Bruce - interesting! I would love volcanic cinders in my garden. I have a "thing" for volcanoes.


Jun 16, 2012 12:00 AM
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Kathy - Gorilla hair! Too funny! Glad to know you see the beauty in the darker color, too.

Jun 16, 2012 12:01 AM
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Valerie - that sounds lovely!

Jun 16, 2012 07:08 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Michelle- I don't like red mulch either.  I like stone or black. When I see it I just want to cover it up right away.  

Jun 16, 2012 09:09 AM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

We also recommend very dark mulch --- actually large-size bark chips.  The red or lighter-colored ones just look cheap to me.

Jun 16, 2012 02:23 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

HATE orange mulch....we always get the black.  Now that I've read this post, I will reconsider!  Does the compost know like fertilizer does?

Jun 18, 2012 07:31 AM
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging
Thanks for another great blog. I just featured it on Rave ReViews facebook fan page too. I've always bought black mulch but I never thought about black compost. It is definitely something to research.
Jun 18, 2012 12:08 PM
James A. Browning
Browning Real Estate School/REO Institute - International, IT
MRE REOCertified(R) SSCertified

Hello Michelle, thanks for the information on your post. Please, join our group on LinkedIn, ‘REO Institute’. We share Real Estate information regarding market trends, Short Sales, BPOs, REOs, OREs, BOVs, ideas, Education/Training, and Commercial Education. We value you your comments, ideas, and opinions about the Real Estate Industry. Thanks, James

Aug 02, 2012 02:28 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD
Congratulations on being in the ActiveRain Member Spotlight today.  Best wishes for continued success. 
Jan 12, 2013 10:40 PM
Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

Hi Michelle,

I came over from Sharon's introduction of you. I personally like black color better. But even that color fades after a year or two. I will be considering compost the next time around...anything one can do about the smell?

Oct 25, 2013 02:20 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes


I so agree with you!.  I like the natural look!  Read and brown do not work for me.

Oct 28, 2013 05:00 AM