Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cocoa Mulch: The New Deadly Trend

Who wouldn't buy such a highly touted product?  But the warnings are not on the bags.  Know what you are buying/using.

First we'll start with why everyone loves this new mulch trend...


Adding any mulch is good for the garden but Cocoa Shell is the best mulch on the market. And here is why:

1. It looks much better than other mulches. It begins life as a reddish brown color but after time darkens to give a rich brown color that stays for its life. Bark tends to bleach in the sun giving an uneven and untidy appearance. Cocoa Shell gives a lovely contrast to foliage and flowers.

2. Cocoa Shell is packed full of healthy nutrients for all your plants. It has a Nitrogen:Phosphorous:Potash of 3:1:3, which is better than any other mulch. It means it has enough Nitrogen within itself to compost down, whereas bark robs the soil of Nitrogen as it composts and hence deprives plants of this nutrient.

3. It works better than the other mulches. It is better at weed suppression because of the loosely knitted porous mat, and for the same reason better at keeping moisture in the ground (up to 50% better in independent tests). So for a low maintenance option cocoa shell is the best mulch.

4. The texture deters slugs and snails. The texture is not dissimilar to broken egg shells, and hence slugs and snails do not like it. As such it is a very environmentally nematode deterrent. Many hosta growers use it on top of pots for this reason, and as any hosta lovers know, this plant is favorite dish of these slimy pests!

5. Most cats do not like the texture either, so again it is a cat friendly way to keep them off your borders.


If your dog likes to spend sunny days lazing in the garden, his treat-seeking nose may lead him to one danger in particular: sweet-smelling cocoa bean mulch. 

Many gardeners are familiar with the use of cocoa bean shells, a by-product of chocolate production, in landscaping. It’s especially popular for its attractive odor and color and eventual degradation into organic fertilizer. But many pet parents don’t realize that cocoa mulch, if eaten in large quantities by mischievous dogs, can be toxic.

“Dogs are attracted to the fertilizer’s sweet smell,” says Dr. Steven Hansen, ASPCA Chief Operating Officer, “but like chocolate, cocoa bean mulch can be too much for our canine companions.”

Ingestion of large amounts of cocoa bean mulch may cause a variety of clinical signs, including:

elevated heart rate
muscle tremors
neurological disturbances (seizures)

Dr. Hansen recommends that the gardeners among us consider using a nontoxic alternative, such as shredded pine, cedar or hemlock bark, to beautify their yards. These will keep your pooch and your garden happy and healthy.

If you suspect your dog has ingested cocoa bean mulch, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

The cocoa mulch contains a chemical called theobromine, when ingested can cause death in 12 to 24 hours.

This product is sold everywhere from Lowe's, Home Depot, Target, to any lawn & garden store.  Please, please, please do not buy or use this product if you own a pet or care about neighbors who own a pet.  

Even my cats like chocolate, I have to be careful with all my furbabies

Be diligent, again, this product comes with no warning.  Spread the word to your friends.

1 comment:

  1. I nominated you for a Liebster Award! Good networking!http://thenoiseofboys.com/2013/05/28/leibster-award/


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