What the best eco-friendly mulch?

Tending to a garden is a pleasant, calming hobby for a lot of different people. Eco-friendly mulch An essential part of gardening is mulching. It keeps away weeds, regulates the temperature and moisture of the soil, and is generally aesthetically pleasing. But the mulch you're used to using may be doing more harm than good.

So what are some more environmentally friendly choices when it comes to mulch? There are quite a few recyclable resources one can use for mulching. Some of the more popular options are peanut shells, rubber, pine bark/needles, eucalyptus, even cocoa husks. Any of these are leaps and bounds better than a typical cypress mulch found in some gardens. Shredded Cyprus is one of the worst things to introduce into a growing garden. Don't let the low price fool you, it's a fungal mat it wet areas and can lose its color and decay in less than 1-2 years - especially in direct sunlight.

The eco-friendly types of mulch listed earlier have many different benefits if chosen as a mulch for your garden. Here are just a few top benefits of each one:

Eucalyptus: Has a very pleasing odor and grows in excess, much more than that of a cypress tree. Color stays longer than Cyprus, fading nicely into yellows and reds.

Rubber: Have an old tire lying around? Turn it into mulch! It Provides cushion for a gardener working on their knees. It Doesn't attract any unwanted insects.

Peanut Shells: Easy DIY project and snack all in one. Excellent source of potassium and nitrogen for the garden. When combined with cottonseed oil, peanut shell mulch can withstand rain a bit longer and save from early decomposition.

Cocoa Husks: Low acid and around 3% nitrogen to work well in a garden. Garden pests shy away from these husks. Lightweight and easy to transfer from storage to your garden.

Pine Bark/Needles: Another pleasant odor, especially around the holidays with a rich pine scent. Color lasts the longest out of any natural mulch. Not very rain friendly due to pieces floating if at an incline.

There are many different ways to make sure your garden stays adequately mulched properly. Don't sacrifice the flowers for the wrong kind of much that attacks the environment. Make sure your mulch is environmentally friendly, pest free, and looking great!

The experts and Manfield landscaping can help you get the perfect look while helping the environment. 

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What Your Neighbors Are Saying About Mansfield Landscaping

If you want to see an absolutely FANTASTIC job done by Steve Mansfield and his crew... come by my house tomorrow and you will be amazed.

Steve's been advising me for years to change what I had originally developed into something a little more stylish, but being the hard-headed Italian I am, I kept refusing until this year. I'm sick of our cold winters that kill all my pretty flowers so I let him convince me to change it all to a completely new look. I love to work with Steve, he sure knows his landscaping stuff and he may come off with a gruff exterior, but down deep, the man is a teddy bear and very easy to work with.

Oh Boy, I can't tell you how excited I am. The transformation is unbelievable. Steve and his guys were on the job for 2 days and through their creative talents came up with a wall/bed design utilizing many of my existing trees, unlike anything I have seen in the past.

KathieI (www.talkofthevillages.com)

We went out and checked out their nursery recently. We found that not only did they have the best prices of any of the nurseries in the area, but also that their plants were in the best shape of any of the other nurseries. When we begin our spring landscaping in a couple of weeks (we like to do most of our landscaping ourselves), we will be buying all of our plants/trees from Mansfield.

Cappyjon431 (www.talkofthevillages.com)

Steve Mansfield and his AMAZING crew just finished landscaping our yard. We sat down with Steve on a Sunday evening (yes, he came out on his day off!!), designed the concept of the yard, we went to his nursery on Tuesday and they finished the entire project the following Monday (it would have been sooner but it was over Thanksgiving weekend and they didn't work that Thursday). Steve personally picked out our Queen palms and put in the most beautiful triple Sylvester Palm we've ever seen. As other posts have stated before, he brought out almost double the plants used in the yard to ensure we had plenty of choices. They lay everything out in the beds before they plant so we had an opportunity to move things around to our liking. After everything was completed my husband and I have agreed that Mansfield Landscaping went WAY above and beyond or expectations. We live on a street that is highly traveled (across from the Charlotte Pool and mailbox) and so many people have stopped to tell us how beautiful it is. We recommend Mansfield Landscaping to anyone interested in working with a company that produces professional results and cares so much about his clients.

Anonymous (The Villages)

I recently had my villa landscaping done by Steve Mansfield and his crew. They worked hard for 3 days and did an excellent job. I am very happy with the job and everyone who has seen it has told me it looks great. I was quoted 20-30 plants but was given many more to make my property look great at no charge. I was so surprised when Steve called to tell me he was having my driveway, walkway and patio power washed so that the dirt from their work would be cleaned up. True to his word, he sent someone over to do the work and not only does my property look great, but he also cleaned the street where there was dirt from the rock piles. I would recommend him to anyone looking to have their landscape done immediately and done well.

Anonymous (The Villages)

We discovered Mansfield Landscaping through our friends in the Village of Hadley. They gave us a good review of Steve's work, so we decided to visit his showroom/nursery. We are from Minnesota and know NOTHING about palm trees! We were looking for an education and lots of information about Florida landscaping.

Steve was so great with us! He showed us many different varieties of palm trees, along with plants that do well in this area. He also has an excellent display of both stone walls and rock--you can really see the different colors so you know what you are getting.

Later that same day, Steve came to our villa, came up with a plan and gave us an estimate. Three business days later, his crew showed up with a truckload of between 70 and 80 plants and the palm trees we wanted. Steve brings many, many plants to the job so you can select the ones you want--which is a real advantage, in my opinion.

The crew finished the job on time, and did an outstanding job! We had both our front and back yards done, so there was a lot of dirt on our concrete. They cleaned up everything and did a great job at that also!

Our job was completed a week ago, and since then, Steve has been back at least 3 times to check on what we think, how everything looks, and to make sure we are watering like we should be. His follow-up service is excellent.

EdandLinda (www.talkofthevillages.com)

I first used Mansfield Landscaping a year ago after seeing the unique design work Steve Mansfield did at a neighbor's house. The tree specimens used were more impressive than those typically found in our village and this was the result of Mansfield having a massive inventory and variety of trees, shrubs, and other landscaping materials at his huge nursery in Yalaha-about 30 minutes from The Villages and right next door to the famous Yalaha Bakery. After getting over my initial reservations about Steve's quirky personality, I was thrilled to discover the genuine Steve-a truly unusual individual; a caring and considerate character who gives personal service and attention to his clients! My first job turned out so well that I recently used him and his hard-working crew again to re-landscape an entire house, including the fabrication of a magnificent water fall and stream. While there are many companies doing business in The Villages, Steve's knowledge of the landscaping profession combined with competitive pricing and his emphasis on making his clients happy and satisfied is proven by accepting no money until the job is completely finished. Steve "cranks" out the best landscape design and implementation in The Villages.

Kidzdds (www.talkofthevillages.com)

Mansfield did our landscaping in the last 3 weeks and we couldn't be any happier. The did a phenomonal job in a short amount of time and we are ecstatic. Please feel free to come by and see ours on Evinston Court.

Oren Miller (www.talkofthevillages.com)