The Differences Between Mulch and Compost

Mulch and compost have applications in the home as well as industrial uses — however, too many, the two are interchangeable when in reality they are two distinct materials.

Technically speaking, compost consists of organic matter that has been decomposed over time. Compost is very common in the home garden, with home gardeners creating a compost pile that includes scraps, lawn clippings, and decaying plant matter. After a year or so, it’ll break down and create compost which can be used as fertilizer to jumpstart the garden. To start a compost pile, it is typically recommended that the formula consists of two parts dirt, to one part green material, turning and watering as needed to aerate the compost.

In contrast, mulch is a layer of organic material placed directly on top of the soil as a sort of protective cover to protect it from erosion. It also breaks down over time — but typically not as fast as compost. For mulch, different materials are used including straw, shredded leaves, or even grass clippings. Cedar chips are also used on perennial beds as it imparts a pleasant smell as well as providing coverage for several seasons.

Applications and Uses

  • Unique benefits. Compost is mainly used to improve soil structure and can be deemed as some sort of conditioner that can retain and make existing nutrients more readily available. Mulch helps to suppress weeds, moderate temperatures, as well as conserve water as it helps to prevent erosion and aggressive evaporation.
  • Can be used together. Compost can be mixed directly into the soil to condition garden beds, as well as used to top off the soil. Mulch can be spread on top of the compost and dirt to protect it from the outside elements.
  • Different types of materials used. Compost can be prepared at home with a compost bin fixed into the kitchen. For larger plots of land, dedicated space in the garden can also be used to help cultivate compost. Compost can be formed with the help of vermicomposting, where worms are used to help break down organic matter as well as help aerate the compost. Organic mulch is made with wood chips, straw, or leaves. The main idea is to use reasonably large particles. A mixture of gravel and landscape materials can also be used to help with mulch.

About K&B Landscape Supplies

Catering to the Midwestern United States, K&B Landscape Supplies has been in the business of mulch manufacturing since 1986. If you need assistance in preparing, replacing, or maintaining mulch, contact us.

Is the Mulch Your Using Safe?

Mulch has many benefits including retaining moisture, helping with weed control, preventing soil erosion, maintaining soil nutrients, controlling pests, and enhancing the look of your landscape. However, when it comes to quality, not all mulches are the same.

Common Mulch Issues

Some mulch contains hazardous materials that could ruin your garden and pose potential health risks. When you purchase poor quality mulch, you are susceptible to the following problems:

Artillery Fungus – (Sphaerobolus), a fungus that resembles tar, commonly found in bark and hardwood mulch. The fungus produces tiny fruiting structures that are cupped shaped and contain a small black spore mass. It’s called artillery fungus because of its ability to “shoot” the spore mass into the air where it sticks to any surface it hits, leaving small black spots on plant leaves or home siding, which are extremely difficult to remove.

Slime Mold – Reaching a foot or more in diameter, these bright yellow or orange slimy masses generate tiny spores that eventually dry and blow away. Although slime mold resembles a fungus, it’s actually a soil-dwelling amoeba. They form strange shapes ranging from honeycomb lattices and blackberries to dog vomit. Slime mold, while unattractive to most people is not harmful and doesn’t need to be removed unless it bothers you to have it in your yard.

Sour Mulch – When wood-derived mulch is piled high, the inside becomes deprived of oxygen. This causes the mulch to emit a sour smell resembling alcohol, vinegar, ammonia, or sulfur, creating acetic acid. The accumulation of acid is toxic to plants, and if left untreated, can spread throughout your landscape causing other plants to die. You can treat sour mulch by spreading it out and soaking it with water. Once the mulch dries, the smell should be gone, and you can return it to your garden.

K&B Mulch only produces top quality certified mulch utilizing virgin timber derived from managed timberland sites and certified by the Mulch & Soil Council. That means with K&B products, you know exactly what’s in your mulch and can rest assured there are no chemicals, nails, debris, or weed seedlings. If you have questions, or would like to place an order, please call us at 1-800-330-8816.

Top Quality Mulch Products Delivered

Isn’t it so much more convenient to have mulch products delivered to you, rather than having to go out and pick them up yourself? You don’t have to worry about whether the supplies will fit in your vehicle, having to spend extra money on gas, or getting lost looking for the location.

At K&B Landscape Supplies, Inc., we not only offer top quality mulch products but also help to alleviate any of the stress that may be associated with getting your mulch products, by delivering our products to you.

Are There Minimum Ordering Requirements?

We supply our wholesale mulch products to local, statewide, and national markets. However, because we are a wholesale supply company, we do have minimum ordering requirements for our products to be delivered.

The following wholesale quantities are for local area deliveries only. For “short loads” and split delivery loads, call for more information.

  • 100 cubic yards of loose bulk products
  • 18 pallet minimum – 24 pallet maximum bagged products

Where and Who Does K&B Supply?

Where: We generally serve East Central Florida inclusive to Jacksonville, South to Palm Bay, West to Lakeland, and most locations in between.

Who: Local landscape nurseries, landscape contractors, theme parks, municipalities, homeowners associations, apartment complexes, etc.

We Welcome Your Business

We have over 20 years of experience in high capacity mulch manufacturing facilities, which allows us to produce the best materials at the most competitive prices. K&B mulches are currently being sold at major retailers such as Home Depot, Walmart, Ace Hardware, Menards, Hy-Vee, FIS Outdoors, etc. both locally and through brokerage firms in the Mid-Western United States.

For any questions regarding wholesale deliveries of K&B products, or to place an order for delivery, please contact us online, by email sales@kandblandscapesupply.com, or by calling 386-734-3553.

The Difference Between Topsoil and Potting Soil

What Is Topsoil?

Topsoil is the soil that can be found on the surface of the earth. As a result, the term central florida soilencompasses a wide range of soil with a wide range of properties, meaning that people who are interested in buying topsoil need to pay close attention to what is contained within it. Generally speaking, they can expect a mix of sand with organic materials such as compost, manure, rice hulls, and wood fines.

What Is Potting Soil?

Potting soil has much more standardized formulation because it is meant for a single purpose, which is to say, help potted plants thrive. This means that potting soil must be able to drain well so that potted plants can get sufficient air, though it also needs to be able to hold onto both water and nutrients to an extent. Regardless, the shared purpose of potting soil means that it tends to consist of peat moss mixed with other organic materials.

What Is the Difference Between Topsoil and Potting Soil?

In summary, topsoil and potting soil are meant for planting under separate sets of circumstances. The first is meant for use when planting in the ground, whereas the second is meant for use when planting in a container, which should explain their respective names. As a result, topsoil tends to be heavier and more capable of holding onto moisture, whereas potting soil tends to be lighter and better when it comes to drainage. Moreover, it is important to note that topsoil is not sterile, meaning that it can contain unwanted seeds that are not killed in the production process because such a procedure would kill beneficial microorganisms as well. In contrast, the potting soil tends to be sterile because it is not made of the same things that can be found in a normal garden.

Contact Us

Those who want to learn more about topsoil, potting soil, and other gardening products should contact us at their earliest convenience. By becoming informed, they can make sure to provide their plants with the best conditions to ensure the best results. K & B Landscaping only sells soil in pallets. Call us today at 386-734-3553 with any questions.

Wood Mulch vs. Rubber: Which is Best for you?

Choices in mulch seem nearly endless these days. From different types of wood, to gravel, to fully synthetic rubber options, there’s something out there to suit any taste. One of the most common questions we get is whether to go with a natural or a synthetic mulch. It serves two purposes, to be both functional and decorative. At K&B, we always recommend wood mulch, as it offers a number of benefits that other alternatives simply can’t match.

Advantages of Wood

Being that wood mulch is natural, they have an added benefit of providing your plants and soil with additional nutrients over time. As the wood slowly breaks down in the elements, they release essential nutrients into the soil which enhances its fertility, helping your plants thrive. Once the mulch decomposes to the point of exposing the topsoil, simply use a tiller and work it into the soil to complete the decomposition.

Wood mulch is available in a number of different colors, sizes, and textures to suit any landscaping theme. They enhance the look of your home while protecting your property from weeds and excessive water evaporation. Wood mulch is also a great value in that they are resistant to wind erosion because of their weight.

Disadvantages of Synthetics

One of the biggest issues we have with rubber mulch is that it does not enhance the quality of the soil in the way that wood does. Think of rubber mulch as a cover for your topsoil, letting very little in or out – including important nutrients. Because many rubber mulches are made from repurposed rubber from other industries, it can contain heavy metals which can work their way into the soil, potentially poisoning surrounding plants. If you do have rubber mulch on your property, it is imperative that you periodically check to ensure the health of your plants is not being compromised.

Petroleum is a major component in many rubber products, which makes it a potential fire hazard. If using rubber mulch, keep it away from your home to avoid issues.

At K&B Mulch, we offer only the finest wood chip mulch in the area so you know that you’re getting a quality product that will keep your home looking great for a long time to come. Contact us today at 386-734-3553 with any questions.