Cocoa shell mulch

fireduck(10a)May 18, 2014

Has anybody used cocoa shells as a mulch? It seems like it would be good. I thought I had read that someone said it grows mold. Not sure if that is right...

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TurCre(5 SoCentral NE)

I am currently using it in a small test spot. The bag says it will get moldy if it stays wet for long periods of time. I have not had an issue so far, I do live in a fairly dry area though. I am trying it because it is supposed to be less susceptible to being blown aound by the wind, that seems to be true for the most part.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 7:04PM
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fireduck(10a)

thanks T..if the bag says it...it must be true. I could see where this would not be a good ingredient for a potting mix. Maybe OK for a mulch...huh?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 7:31PM
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TurCre(5 SoCentral NE)

I tried it in a potting mix and I had very poor results.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 10:04PM
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TurCre(5 SoCentral NE)

I tried it in a potting mix and I had very poor results.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 10:12PM
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redwing269(5)

I tried it in 1998. It smelled great and looked nice at first, but did get the white fungus on it, even though we hadn't had what's considered a lot of rain here in Connecticut. It also got crusty looking, needing to be broken up and never looking as attractive as it did when I first put it down.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 11:10PM
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fireduck(10a)

Decided to definitely pass on using it for potting mix ingredient. The mold issue sounds like a major problem. Better suited for top mulch...if that. Lots of hype online....mostly from companies selling it.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 9:53AM
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Fascist_Nation(9b)

Seriously?! "It gets fungus on it!" I can't stop laughing.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 10:23AM
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galinas(5B)

I hope you do not have dogs - cocoa in any from is poisonous for them

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 11:22AM
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JoppaRich(7b)

"I hope you do not have dogs - cocoa in any from is poisonous for them"

Yes, no, maybe.

Theobromine is hazardous to dogs (it's also hazardous to us, cats etc) LD50 for humans is 1000mg/kg. Dogs 300mg/kg. Cats 200mg/kg. Cats are much less likely to eat it because they're actually carnivores, where dogs are omnivores.

Cocoa shells have a very high concentration of theobromine, higher than most chocolates. Except when they doesn't - because most of the stuff being sold for landscaping is being stripped chemically (or via heat, etc) to remove the theobromine, because people own dogs.

From Home Depot, via snopes.com:

"The Home Depot does not and will not sell mulch harmful to pets. The mulch sold by The Home Depot containing cocoa shells goes through several cleaning processes, including a high heat system in order to strip the cocoa fat from the shells without the use of any chemicals."

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 1:34PM
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fireduck(10a)

physically...this stuff looks like a great product for a container ingredient or mulch. Chemically...it sure seems like there are a lot of question marks.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 2:01PM
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galinas(5B)

Any dog owners to check Home Depot pet safety claim?)
Not me...

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 2:07PM
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