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Warning For Gardening Diyers: Cocoa Shell Mulch Could Be Hazardous To Your Pets

How To Choose the Right Mulch | Mulch Buying Guide

An alarming email came across my desk yesterday warning dog and cat owners of the hazards of using cocoa shell mulch in their gardens and planters. In my last blog titled DIY Project: Transform Your Patio Cover from Boring to Va-Va-BambooI included a link to the HGTV show Red, Hot, and Green which contains the episode Tropical Getaway where designer Nicole Facciuto suggests using cocoa shell mulch as a green alternative.

With spring inspiring all you green thumbs to get planting, I felt it was prudent to share this excerpt from Snopes.com that responds to the warning above:

This warning about the potential danger to pets posed by cocoa mulch began appearing in our inbox in May 2003. Unlike the majority of scary alerts spread through the Internet, there is at least some truth to this one, although we know of only one substantiated case of a pet death caused by ingestion of the substance.

Veterinarians have noted that cocoa mulch contains ingredients that could pose a health risk to dogs :

As time goes on, they might act restless, excited, it can produce tremors and serious seizures, Family explained. Puppies are very curious animals. So theyre going to be attracted to various things around the yard and seems to be more severe in the small breeds, and it depends on the amount they actually ingest.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals confirms the potential effects of theobromine and caffeine on dogs:

What Kind Of Mulch Should I Use For Potted Plants

You should use decomposing organic material, such as grass clippings, pine needles, wood bark, leaves, and woodchips.

Additional popular organic mulch includes Tea tree mulch, leaf mulch, woodchip mulch, lucerne hay mulch, pine, and sawdust.

Because potted plants are so small, there is a higher risk of suffocating the soil and drying out the roots.

Whichever you decide, the layer of mulch should be no more than an inch and a half.

What Is Cocoa Bean Mulchwhat Is Cocoa Bean Mulch

A wholly organic mulching material made from the outer shell of the cocoa bean. The material breaks down slowly and will not disappear into the soil. Apply in the spring or summer to help reduce weeds and conserve water. Apply in the fall to insulate in the winter. Adds nutrition to the soil.

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What Is In Cocoa Mulch

  • Mulch Benefits. Mulch is any layer of organic or inorganic materials spread over the soil. …
  • Cocoa Mulch Benefits. A layer of crushed cocoa hulls as a mulch layer will turn your whole garden into a chocolate-smelling paradise and it’s good for the plants and the …
  • Cocoa Mulch Drawbacks. …
  • When to Use Cocoa Mulch. …
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Blommer Cocoa Shell On Hgtv’s Curb Appeal

The Pet Tree House

Tune in to cable’s HGTV to see Blommer brand cocoa shell mulch being used on “Curb Appeal“, a program that highlights some simple methods on how to dress up the outside of your house. This episode will air

  • Wednesday August 18th at 9p.m.
  • Thursday August 19th at 1a.m.
  • Thursday August 19th at 6p.m.
  • Saturday August 21st at 11:30p.m.

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What Is The Best Mulch For A Flower Garden

We recommend aged hardwood mulch, applied in a light layer, around your flower beds. Well-aged wood mulch is an ideal choice for flower beds, as it adds nutrients to the soil as it decomposes. Softwood mulch, usually made from pine, can add a bit too much acidity, and doesn’t decompose quickly.Jun 22, 2021

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When Should You Apply Mulch To Potted Plants

If you have just planted seeds, you should not apply mulch because it could suffocate the plant seeds and prevent them from growing.

Wait until the plant stem is at least 2-3 inches high before applying mulch.

When the plant is mature enough, you can apply the mulch. The best time to lay mulch is at the tail end of Winter or the beginning of Spring.

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Does Coconut Mulch Attract Termites

Let’s Find Out! Mulch itself doesn’t attract bugs like termites if they aren’t already present, but it can create the perfect environment for bugs and pests to reproduce. Mulch helps fight off weeds and retains the moisture level in the soil. You should, however, apply mulch properly to help control bugs.Sep 9, 2020

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Problems With Cocoa Bean Hulls

Coco brown mulching

While cocoa bean hulls have many benefits, there are also a few downsides to using cocoa hulls in the garden and these should be taken into consideration prior to its use.

Its crucial not to get the mulch overly wet. When cocoa shells are too wet and not allowed to dry out between watering, pests are attracted to the moist soil and mulch. If the soil under the mulch is moist to the touch, do not water.

In hot and humid climates, cocoa shell mulch may develop a harmless mold. However, a solution of 25 percent water and 75 percent white vinegar can be sprayed on the mold.

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Do You Have To Remove Old Mulch Before Applying New Mulch

Expert green thumbs contend that getting rid of last year’s mulch is completely unnecessary. … If that amount already exists in your yard, it is not necessary to add new mulch. However, if you’re down to an inch, top off the old layer with an additional inch of new mulch to keep it at its optimum level.Feb 18, 2016

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What Are The Side Effects Of Cocoa Powder

But keep in mind that cocoa contains caffeine and related chemicals. Eating large amounts might cause caffeine-related side effects such as nervousness, increased urination, sleeplessness, and a fast heartbeat. Cocoa can cause allergic skin reactions, constipation, and might trigger migraine headaches.

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The Hidden Dangers Of Cocoa Mulch

It is a mistake every pet owner could easily make.

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It is a mistake every pet owner could easily make. As spring approaches, you head to the local home and garden store for mulch to freshen up your flower beds. Next to the bags of traditional shredded mulch are bags of a newer typecocoa mulch.

According to National Cocoa Shell, the nations largest retailer of cocoa shell mulch, the material is leftover from the cocoa bean roasting processmaking the product more environmentally friendly than regular mulch. Plus, who couldnt resist putting chocolate smelling mulch down in their garden? For chocolate lovers across the country its a dream come true.

But theres a catch. Cocoa mulch is extremely toxic to pets, especially when curious dogs have access to the outdoors.

Can You Use Mulch In Potted Plants

Cocoa Bean Shell Mulch

Mulch has consistently been recognized as a high-value nutritious layer to the soil of your plants. It provides valuable, high-impact nutrients to the roots and insulates the seeds from the outer environment. As a devoted plant parent who wants to maximize the value of nutrition, you might wonder if you can use mulch in potted plants.

Mulch can be safely used in potted plants. Mulch is suitable for outdoor landscaping and provides maximized nutrients for insulated potted plants that need extra T.L.C. since they live aboveground. Adding mulch to potted plants will lock in moisture, regulate temperature, and make your plants visually appealing.

Potted plants give an extra layer of order and vibrancy to your garden and the interior of your home. Keep reading to learn how mulch can add vitality and strength to your plants and your overall environment.

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Is Cocoa Mulch Toxic To Dogs

Is cocoa mulch toxic to dogs? This is one of the most common questions concerning cocoa hull beans, and no cocoa hull mulch information should fail to mention its potential toxicity to dogs. Dog owners need to beware when using cocoa shell mulch that the shells do contain varying amounts of two compounds that are toxic to dogs: caffeine and theobromine.

The sweet smell of the cocoa mulch is attractive to curious dogs and could be potentially dangerous. If you have animals that have access to mulched areas in your landscape, its wise to consider using another non-toxic mulch instead. If your dog accidentally ingests cocoa bean hulls, call your vet immediately.

Why Should I Use Mulch In Potted Plants

Potted Plants are not connected to the earth, making the possibility of withering higher than garden plants.

Mulch provides a protective layer of organic or inorganic material meant to nourish the roots and enhance the visual aspect of the plant bed.

There are several kinds of mulch, but organic and inorganic are the main categories.

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Why You Shouldnt Buy Mulch At Home Depot Lowes Or Walmart

Spring is here, and if you utilize mulch in your gardens, flower beds and other areas throughout your property, this is the time of year when youre getting ready to replace the material. As mulch decomposes, it helps to nourish the soil, but in order for it to continue working to your benefit and looking great, a fresh layer needs to be applied on a regular basis.

Weve found that making your property and landscape look great comes from using great materials. There are a number of different retailers that you can purchase mulch and other materials from, however they arent all created equally.

Coco Mulch From Target And Home Depot

Choosing the Best Mulch for your Garden

Thanks so much for posting this. I didn’t know that coco mulch, etc. is poisonous. I was thinking of putting some in my garden this spring, luckily I saw this first. BTW, any suggestions on which kind of non-poisonous mulch I can use–bark chips, etc.?

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About Cocoa Bean Mulch

Cocoa bean mulch is also called cocoa mulch, cocoa hull mulch, and chocolate hull mulch. It’s made from the discarded shells of the cocoa bean. Cocoa beans grown on trees, and after harvest and processing, are shelled, with the beans processed further to make all sorts of chocolate products. The hulls are then packaged and sold as mulching material at major home and garden stores, large big box department and mass merchandise stores, and garden centers nationwide.

Does Coconut Coir Attract Bugs

Why do you get fungus gnats? These insects love damp organic matter, which happens to be great for your plants too. The more good stuff in your soil, the more likely that you are to attract fungus gnats. Soils that hold moisture especially well, including those with coconut coir, are more likely to see fungus gnats.

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Cocoa Shells Garden Mulch

Mulch cocoa bean shell. Garden mulch chocolate diversity questions answered heritage faq farm barrier byproduct cocoa weeds forms strong against. Questions answered: heritage farm’s diversity garden 2014 faq â seed cocoa shells garden mulch

Mulch â Orion Stone Depot. 8 Pictures about Mulch â Orion Stone Depot : Russell’s Photo Gallery : Landscape Amendments » Bagged Mulch » Cocoa, Russell’s Photo Gallery : Landscape Amendments » Bagged Mulch » Cocoa and also cacao shells for home gardening and saving the planet.

Is Cocoa Mulch Really A Dog Poison

Cocoa Bean Mulch Home Depot
  • Cocoa bean mulch contains theobromine and caffeine, just like chocolate. These chemicals are poisonous to dogs. Dogs who swallow cocoa bean mulch could have vomiting, diarrhea, a very fast heart rate, tremors and seizures. Death is uncommon but has happened. It’s impossible to tell how much cocoa bean mulch might be poisonous.
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The Top Mulch Suppler In Nj

At Braen Supply, weve been assisting homeowners and contractors with their landscape and masonry supplies for more than a decade. Our dedicated sales team has answered thousands of questions about products, pricing, sizing and deliveries.

We pride ourselves on our reputation of providing a great experience and products at the best prices. Our team would be more than happy to speak with you about your upcoming mulch project.

Why Big Box Retailers Shouldnt Be Your Go

In the past, you may have found it convenient to run to your local Home Depot or Lowes in order to pick up some extra nails or screws. As a result, you may initially feel compelled to visit these same stores when purchasing mulch, but there are several reasons why you should think twice before doing so.

The first drawback of shopping for mulch at a big box store is the quality of service. Employees at these stores tend to be so involved with so many different things that they cannot provide detailed, helpful advice when you need it.

Although you will find exceptions, many of them lack industry experience and passion for the products, which will hinder your experience. With such a vast storewide inventory, its difficult for employees to become very familiar with or knowledgeable about all of the products for sale.

Weve also found that these retailers dont offer a wide selection of mulches. Different people have different mulching needs and desires. Its important that youre able to choose a mulch that will help to create the right visual aesthetic for your landscape.

In many instances, youll find that larger chain stores only offer one type of mulch in one or two colors. You should have the opportunity to choose which mulch and colors fit your landscape and project.

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Why Trust The Spruce

This article was researched and written by Katie Begley, who has used mulch to spruce up her yard and benefit her garden in California, Hawaii, Virginia, and North Carolina. Texas Native is her go-to choice after testing out multiple options as she moved around the United States. She is always looking for the best value and performance to enhance her outdoor space.

What To Look For In A Mulch Supplier

How To Mulch

Although the task may sound daunting, find a reliable mulch supplier is very straightforward. There are a few key traits that you need to stay mindful of at all times.

Look for a supplier that offers a healthy mix of experience and passion. Its always best to give your business to a well-established supplier that has built a solid relationship with its customers and suppliers, and employs staff who truly know the products.

Knowledgeable, caring associates will be happy to help you determine how much mulch youll need for your project, and to make decisions about which material is right for your needs.

Thats where variety comes in. Feel free to ask your supplier about the different types of mulch that they offer to their customers. A good supplier will have various options available so that you can find a material that will look great within the overall scheme of your landscape while still performing well in gardening applications.

Finally, you should find a landscape supplier who provides you with different purchasing options. Any good supplier will know that the best way to handle mulch is in the bag, and will sell the material in this manner. Carefully sized and weighted bags are optimal for the safety and ease of application to planting areas.

Your supplier should also consider the needs of those who need larger quantities of mulch, and offers the material by the pallet. This will allow you to save time and money in the long-run.

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Is Cocoa Powder Good For The Garden

Is Cocoa good for plants? Organic cocoa mulch, which contains nitrogen, phosphate, and potash and has a pH of 5.8, adds beneficial nutrients to the soil. Using cocoa hulls in the garden is an excellent way to increase soil vitality and is an attractive top cover for both flower beds and vegetable patches.

Chocolate Is Delicious And Sweet

Its no wonder dogs love it. Unfortunately, it contains theobromine and caffeine, ingredients that are toxic to pets at relatively small doses. These ingredients are most concentrated in baking and unsweetened dark chocolate, but are in all real chocolate and cocoa, including milk chocolate. Cakes and cookies flavored with chocolate are usually not toxic, but should not be given to pets. White chocolate has none of these ingredients, but should still not be fed to pets.

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What Is Coco Mulch Made Ofwhat Is Coco Mulch Made Of

Curbside pickup available. Organic and 100% Natural. Made from highly sustainable coconut shells, this coco mulch is an excellent alternative to peat moss or bark-based mulches. Plus, its fibrous texture easily absorbs water and slowly releases it to your plants, meaning you wont have to water your plants as frequently.

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Do I Need To Remove Old Mulch In Pots And Add A New Layer

Cocoa mulch can be dangerous or deadly for pets

No, you do not need to unless you feel compelled to layer the soil with fresh new mulch. However, all plant beds need to be replaced about every three years. If your plant space is hitting the three-year mark, its time to re-pot and re-mulch your garden.

If you insist on changing the mulch more regularly, lightly mix the soil into the mulch to prevent a thick, overbearing blockage.

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Benefits Of Cocoa Hulls

According to the National Cocoa Hull Association, the shells that come off during the roasting process offer a weed-free and economical mulch product that’s safe to use on all types of plants.

The benefits of using cocoa bean mulch include:

  • Green product – It uses something that would simply be discarded during the manufacturing process, thus encouraging recycling and a ‘green’ or environmentally-friend product.
  • All natural – Cocoa hulls are all natural.
  • Economical – You need to use about one inch of cocoa hull mulch whereas other products require a deeper bed of mulch to produce the same effect.
  • Attractive – Cocoa hulls are a medium brown color when fresh but darken with age to an attractive dark brown or even bronze color. Many homeowners like the look of cocoa hull mulch around their plants.
  • Pleasant smell – When cocoa hull mulch is fresh, it actually smells like chocolate. The aroma fades in about three weeks but your garden will smell like a chocolate bar for a few weeks.
  • Encourages soil bacteria – Cocoa hull mulch breaks down into the soil and encourages friendly soil bacteria, the kind that break down all plant material into nutrient-rich soil that encourages plant growth.

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