Are you gonna hairspray your mulch?!?

love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)February 25, 2012

I thought I had seen and heard everything. And then today I saw a crazy new product... to glue down your mulch! Seriously. You spray it down on top of your mulch and it is supposed to keep it from blowing or washing away. It is called "Envirohold" and they claim that it "locks mulch in place". There is no way I am going to buy this, but I'm wondering if anyone has tried it or knows anyone who has? Thoughts?

Carol in Jax

Here is a link that might be useful: EnviroHold

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Too hilarious. I have never used it.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 11:35PM
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Hmm, I think I'd rather use hairspray. This is polyvinyl acetate, if you dig around enough to find the specs. Of course, I'm such a slouch I never do bother to polish my mulch, so what do I know? :)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 12:18AM
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Richard (chuggerguy)

Spray it on my roof before next hurricane maybe. My mulch? No, totally unimportant to me.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 1:14AM
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Besides what the other have stated, it would not make the mulch very good a drainage. Who needs more run off? :o)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 5:55AM
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wonder if this is being brought to us by the brilliant minds that produce spray on hair? hmmmmm

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 9:09AM
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coffeemom(Broward z10)

I'm afraid it would make my garden look too much like Donald Trump's hair.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 2:23PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

So it's basically PVA glue (I looked @ the MSDS form as well). Things that make you go "Hmmm" - guess it might be useful for commercial plantings....

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 11:43AM
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That sounds exactly what I need to spray the pine trees around my house so they don't cover everything with pollen! I wonder if I can get it in bulk......

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 7:02PM
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Rather than pollute the environment, why not just use rubber mulch (shredded tires) and dump a some rubber cement over the top of it? Dumb ideas abound.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 9:20PM
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Why is there no like button for Coffeemom's comment? And Fawnridge's?
The product strikes me as just silly. Really, a basic misunderstanding of how flowers grow.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 7:46PM
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Actually if you read the package directions it 'specifically' says it is for rubber mulch, sand, gravel and limited applications where the actual area is not a high traffic area or walkway. NO where on the package does it say it is for regular bark much. However we know homeowners never read 'directions' on packages..

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 12:41PM
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Ha, even if they do read the directions they don't follow them.
I have seen it but blew past it. I am going to have to stop and read the directions. I don't have a problem with my mulch flying away.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 12:47PM
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Irma_StPete(z9 FL)

"Make sure temperature is at least 55-60 degrees consistantly and NO rain is in the forecast prior to spraying EnviroHold. Results are best when applied in warm weather and direct sunlight." Guess that lets out Florida. I mean, at 60 degrees I am not warm!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 1:09PM
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Sorry Virginia....the website states:

""EnviroHold can be used on just about any ground cover that needs to stay in place including:

* Mulch
* Wood Chips
* Pine Straw
* Pebbles
* Sand & Dirt
* Hay and Straw
* Shells and Gravel
* Holds Leaf Piles in place""

""Is EnviroHold only for mulch?

No. EnviroHold can be used on just about any ground cover including pine straw and needles, wood chips, hay, straw, sand, dirt, pebbles and light rock.""


    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 1:30PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Hahaha, thanks for bringing this one back around! I laughed out loud again!! I love goofy fun.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 2:05PM
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Will it keep the neighbor dog in it's own dang yard?


    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 5:49PM
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You could probably texture your mulch and give it a beehive hairdo!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 8:27PM
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Hmmm...wonder if I could spray it on my pittosporum hedge to glue all the critters in place so they would meander to my other plants...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:25PM
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Correction..should have read wouldn't meander to my other plants...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:28PM
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This actually might be helpful if you have an area where mulch consistently washes away. My cure for this is to rip up a bunch of spanish moss up and mix it in with the mulch. Looks funny at first, but the moss helps hold the mulch in place and quickly breaks down, but by then, you have a good erosion-resistent matting.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:13PM
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I am actually going to try EnviroHold on a new flower bed. It is on 44'x5' and on a slope. It says that it helps keep the mulch from fading too, which would be nice. I will let everyone here know how it works and whether I'd recommend it. There are a few other flowers beds located downtown (I work for the city) that I would like to use it on, because when we get downpours, all my much along the sidewalk ends up everywhere.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 10:00AM
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Wanted to add this. I was doing a little research on EnviroHold (always do extensive research on a product before purchase) and I came this video that a local garden center in Iowa put on YouTube. IMO it is 10x's better than the video EnviroHold did. I did ask the garden center how they felt about the product. Waiting to hear back from them.

Here is a link that might be useful: EnviroHold

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 10:19AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Jmkennedy, you registered today with GW to tout the awesome benefits of Envirohold? Interesting.

I watched the linked video.
"Improve appearance." If it dries clear, how is the appearance changed? And why would someone get mulch they didn't like the appearance of in the first place?

"Increase longevity." This is the opposite of what I want mulch to do - decompose quickly. Otherwise, it's only doing part of the job that mulch can do.

"replace mulch every couple of years because it blows around"
I've never seen mulch blowing around, in 50+ mph gusts. Nor have I ever heard of this as the cause of someone needing more mulch. Organic mulch, such as shown in the video, decomposes, so must be replaced for that reason.

"$39.99" Holy cow! For that much $, you could get a TON of mulch, or 4 flats of annuals! You could buy some material to make a border for your bed to keep the mulch in it.

The bed shown in the vid is missing a border. Heavy rain could wash some of the mulch into the walk way areas because there is no border to contain it (or visually separate walkway from bed, aside from the mulch.)

"make your mulch more of a mat" This is exactly what a mulch should NOT do to be effective at helping plants to grow. Matted mulch will result in rotted roots from too much moisture, or dessicated plants from dehydration. Water and air need to be able to move freely through mulch.

At the end, pretending the mulch can't be moved, and saying it could not be moved "with a tractor" is ridiculous enough that it should be a red flag to anyone considering wasting their money on such garbage.

This is a disgusting, expensive, and ineffective substitute for retaining walls, terraces, borders around beds, and the exact opposite goals of what anyone who even vaguely grasps how plants grow should have.

Nobody knows what is in this stuff. The "technical data sheet" provided by the company that makes it says only that it has vinyl acetate in it.

"No information is available on the reproductive, developmental, or carcinogenic effects of vinyl acetate in humans. An increased incidence of nasal cavity tumors has been observed in rats exposed by inhalation. In one drinking water study, an increased incidence of tumors was reported in rats. EPA has not classified vinyl acetate for carcinogenicity."

In case you don't get what that means, they're saying they don't know what it does or if it's harmful, so therefore it's not. Not studying it confirms that no hazards were/are found. It means they have no idea, for people or pets or native wildlife.

"EPA has not classified vinyl acetate as to its possible human carcinogenicity." Unclassified does NOT correlate to being harmless, though makes it impossible to repudiate such claims.

"Vinyl acetate occurs as a clear, flammable liquid that dissolves...

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 11:26AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Purple, AMEN! Sing it, Sister! I agree, I agree, I agree. 100!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 11:52AM
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While I generally fall in with purple, I do ask, how do you guys manage to keep organic mulches in place in some of your FL downpours! It floats away up here too. One thing I've read, and maybe this is going OT, is that "cypress mulch", which I presume is ground-up bald cypress, stays in place in heavy rain events. Anyone care to touch on that?

I knew a guy who once won an award for a little landscape display he created. What caught the judges' attention was his use of spray-on varnish to make rocks used in the landscape always look wet. Now, I like how stuff looks when it's wet, but me and this friend could never see eye to eye on that one. I hated it! This somehow reminds me of that.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 12:32PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Mulch washing away in a heavy rain is a big-picture issue that shouldn't be dealt with in a small-picture way. The mulch isn't the problem, it's some combination of a drainage issue, grading issue, lack of borders, gutter/drainpipe consideration, and other variables. Trying to keep mulch in place is secondary to figuring out where all of that water is coming from, why it isn't soaking in better, where it should be going instead, etc... Thousands of years ago, people realized terraces/retaining walls fix the problem of gardening on a slope. If you fix the big picture, the mulch won't be washing away.

A simple row of bricks or landscape timbers is all I've ever needed to keep mulch where it should be. Below is a pic of such 'in action' during a flood where there was a river running through our front yard. That's not usually there! You can see piles of cut grass which I spread evenly over the bed when I was able to after it quit raining.

Why is your mulch washing out? Is this happening all the time, or once during a record rainfall?

Cypress mulch, if truly Cypress, is an undesirable choice because Cypress trees can't grow as fast as the demand to grind them up to produce mulch. There are allelopathic compounds in Cypress that make it an undesirable mulch. It is known to be susceptible to washing away in heavy rain, compared to other types of wood mulch. It also decomposes too slowly to offer much in the way of improving soil compared to other substances of organic mulch.

A lot of Cypress mulch is some other kind of wood, so incorrectly represented, and should be a turn-off from that standpoint.

The idea that one type of material only should be chosen in perpetuity for mulch is holding a lot of gardens back from the benefits they could derive from a multitude of OM that presents itself periodically and can be put on the surface of garden beds as mulch. Free materials such as the contents of lawnmower bag, hedge clippings, leaves, compost. The more varied the materials used "as" mulch, the more varied will be the substances they release as they decompose. This enables more microbial activity, and increases tilth and fertility.

Over time, constantly decomposing mulch has a dramatic effect on the drainage in beds, allowing soil to absorb moisture more readily and deeply, and hold it without causing mud. It's not magic though, and anytime the sun bakes the ground constantly, whether in a lawn or under a thin layer of mulch, microbiological activity in the soil is reduced if able to exist at all. Parched, cracked soil will erode very quickly, (washing the mulch out with it where applicable.) The dust bowl should have taught that lesson more thoroughly, memorably.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 4:29PM
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You may have misinterpreted some aspects of my post above, purp. I've been an enthusiastic user of organic mulches-in a wide array of situations-since the mid 1970s. I have often advised people to use what is available locally, and more often than not, this is simply the chips produced by line clearance or municiple tree pruning operations. As such, they consist of whatever specie(s) they were working on at the time the truck filled up. I could and often do talk others into the ground about mulch.. I pretty much think you flew off the handle.

My simple question about "cypress mulch was just that-an attempt to either confirm or put to rest a notion I've heard once or twice. Up here, every gas station/convenience store has pallets after pallets of this "cypress mulch" and I cringe at the thought of where it must be coming from. There too, you hardly need to scold me into having a land ethic.
I'm not sure your age bu it couold easily be true that I was down with that before you were born.

I'd say generally, think before you press send, and don't make assumptions that the other person-the one who hasn't posted much in the forum-is in great need of having things explained to them. You'd be embarrassed if you actually knew who and what I am, what line of work I've been involved with for decades, etc.

Finally, in the whole scheme of things, many mulch users may not have the means or capability to make changes to things like the grades of a project, the placement or absence of walls and bed borders, etc. etc. Sometimes, they've simply been sent there to mulch. Not all of us operate 100% of the time in a perfect world!


    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 1:48PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Oh my goodness. Friend, I thought your questions/concerns were genuinely asked, and I tried to answer them honestly, commenting on subjects you raised, questions you asked. Why would I scold someone for not knowing something? If I said anything you already know, it's because I didn't know you knew. I'm not a mind reader and had nothing on which to base my reply to your post except the words of the post itself, to try to answer the questions you asked.

Please excuse me if my post read as scolding, or flying off any handle. I was trying to help you, I'm on your side. If you disagree with the info, that's fine with me. That's what people talk about in forums, among other things. If there was only 1 good way to do all things gardening, we would all know it, do it, and move on without comment.

I apologize for any distress you've perceived from my comments, and can't imagine what assumptions you think I've made, but there are none. Look around a bit before you make assumptions of your own or try to read between lines with no hidden meaning or intention. If you're looking for an enemy, you'll have to try someone else. I don't have any here, and refuse to engage in making any.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 2:34PM
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Fair enough.........I indeed may have misinterpreted your followup. And you're correct-you have no way of knowing who or what I am, given that I'm new to this particular branch of Gardenweb. My apologies........I am not much into fights either!

So then, who the heck am I? I've been a pro horticulturist up here in the north since the 1970s! I was on hand when the very notion of mulching bare ground came into vogue, with myself being an active proponent of same.

I'll tell you what: I haven't had so much as a cold in 9 years, but I've just conme down with a doozy. I accept the distinct likelihood that I was simply not thinking too clearly when I made that post the other day. Sorry 'bout dat.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 1:03PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Awesome! And thank you. I think everyone is kind of cranky with this exceptionally cold weather in most of the country. It's expensive and giving people cabin fever.

Obviously I'm a wanna-be Floridian, peeping over the border, so close but yet so far. But I became hooked on mulch the first time I dug into a bed the first year after putting some down, in OH. Which led to composting, and a general affinity for all things soil/decomposition. I'd rather work on building my soil than with actual plants some days. This spray is the kind of thing that gets my hackles up, and the disconnect from nature and reality that it exposes the existence of in so many people.

So it's genuinely nice to meet you, a person who sounds of similar outlook on things, just tryin' to keep it real. Kind of funny to do it in the FL forum, an interesting twist of irony. Hope you feel back to normal soon!
- Tiffany

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 2:31PM
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Thanks Tiffany. We do indeed share our outlook on such matters. I didn't even notice until just now that you're in Alabama. I'll tell ya what....I'm all about the northwoods, streams, rivers, lakes. Even have my own land "up north" which is partially wooded and partially getting turned into a larger woods via extensive tree-planting......but I've recently become much more interested in the south generally, and in SW Florida specifically. I can't believe how much cool stuff is down that way, and I'd never even given it a thought.

So yeah, we're good, and I'm very glad to have made your acquaintance!


    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 6:13PM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

Hi, just a thought about keeping mulch in place. Our soil in FL is pretty sandy so the water drains very quickly so the mulch doesn't really float away. Currently I am in NE FL and our soil is a little less sandy than some people further south of me but it still has a good deal of sand in it.
When I lived in a State that had heavy gumbo soil, it did not drain very well at all and I did have some problems with floating mulch then.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:12AM
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I thought I'd ask about this since activity has been fairly recent....and I couldn't find much else about the issue. I have a problem with mulch floating away at the bottom edge of my landscaping. With rain, I get 2" of water in my yard, no matter how long it rains. But it drains very quickly. The property has alot of clay, with about 2" of soil over it.

I have established shrubs in my landscaping. The house is on a slab, so I am limited in raising the bed (but that's not the problem). The prior owner used pinestraw and used a trimmer to cut a trench to provide the transition/edging. It's the outer edge of mulch that slips into the trench and floats and piles up at the end. A gallon or so end up in the yard to get thrown around by the mower.

I want to maintain a simple transition from the mulch to the grass. I don't want landscape timbers. I don't want the bright green metal edging like one landscaper wanted to use. Pros around here are no help..."use pinestraw". It seems like they don't have any other solution.

This spray stuff seems like exactly what I need to go around the outer edge of my beds. I'm considering retaining wall blocks 1-level high as a last resort. I'm trying to keep a clean look, so just about any physical retaining will muddy that.

Any suggestions? I'll post back on this stuff if I try it out.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 8:34AM
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Thread revival.

Matt, I'm new to the site and know I'm late, but I thought I'd pass on a suggestion.

A company out of southern California, Woven Earth, is launching a 'mulch mat' made from industrial hemp. It's 100% natural, and provides the benefits of organic mulch, but in a convenient mat form. It's easy to cut and trim to size/shape, and when anchored will not float away. They also sell biodegradable anchor stakes to hold the mats down, if you are interested in a completely natural solution.

Disclosure: I work for Woven Earth. The mats are available for pre-sale now, with delivery in late February.

I hope you are able to find a solution that works!


Here is a link that might be useful: Woven Earth homepage

    Bookmark   December 30, 2014 at 4:00PM
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