outrage with bagged cypress mulch from walmart

sherilynn(Zone 9)August 15, 2009

It was time to mulch this year and I bought about four hundred bags of mulch from Wal Mart. I have bought shredded pine bark mulch by the dump truck from the local nursery guy for the past three years, since we built our home, but this year, I wanted to lighten up the look around our home and make it easier on ourselves and buy bagged mulch, so I bought the Light Cypress Mulch from WalMart; of which I still have about SIX UNOPENED BAGS.

Well, I didn't really have a 'weed' problem before I mulched, I was just getting bare, because the shredded mulch was so fine it breaks down to soil fast. It was time to spruce up the yard for spring. You put out mulch so you don't have weeds, well this mulch GROWS WEEDS! That's all we'ved done since we've put it out! I have NEVER, EVER seen the KINDS of weeds in my yard or beds before we used this mulch. I KNOW these strange, invasive weeds have come from this mulch. I know it. We HAVE BEEN INVADED BY SOME DAMN KIND OF MIMOSA WEED that has grown my the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands... AND THERE'S NOT A MIMOSA TREE NEAR ME. I found the weed on VPI's website.

Plus, some other 18" taller weeds that I've NEVER had... and they are growing faster than ANYTHING I HAVE EVER SEEN. I can't get rid of this stuff without killing everything around my plants. My yard is jacked up!!!!! We went on vacation and came back and I just wanted to CRY. I can't believe it.

Furthermore, I was chaperoning at a highschool pool party yesterday and telling some of the other mothers of my dilemma and the stories came out. There are others that have been inundated by letters from their HOA's about their noxious weeds growing in their beds and GUESS WHERE THEY GOT THEIR CYPRESS MULCH? They've got the EXACT weeds I have and they are not your ordinary weeds. They are uncommon to our area.

I'm thinking of having my bags of mulch tested and suing this company if they are full of seeds. I KID YOU NOT. I AM OUTRAGED. THIS HAS BEEN A NIGHTMARE. MY YARD IS RUINED. MY SUMMER RUINED. AND MY BEDS ARE RUINED. Thousands of dollars of hard work is literally ruined.

This crap is tiny, invasive, and I cannot begin to tell you how expensive and time consuming it has become to get this $hit out of 1.4 acres.

What would YOU do? I am POSITIVE THIS MULCH IS THE CULPRIT. POS-I-TIVE. Something has to be done and it's going to cost a lot of money and someone is going to pay.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mimosa Weed

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Unless you have a lab check the unopened bags and they find something you do not have a chance of proving anything in court so don't waste your money. Start pulling your weeds and don't buy mulch with the company on the bags name. As much as you hate Walmart they have nothing to do with what goes into the bags. They only order from another company and then distribute that product. Therefore Walmart is not the evil witch in your yard.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 7:30PM
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sherilynn(Zone 9)

I do plan on having the mulch tested. I also did not blame WalMart. I named WHERE I bought it just in case anyone else here is having the same problem because this is a hideous mess. What is growing ON this mulch is beyond normal. I would not be surprised to find that there are seeds in this mulch because of how fast this stuff grows and how it grows.

I don't need advice on pulling weeds. If anyone has advice on killing the weeds without killing the other plants, I'll listen. Other than that, then Plan B, is definitely a consideration.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 1:24AM
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Since we have 5 or 6 Walmarts in our general area and each normally has 2-5 brands of mulch and you never stated the brand on the bag how is a reader not to believe you are blaming Walmart? None of the bags are labled as being Walmart brand. It would help if you would give the brand name and not just where you purchased it.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 1:44PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Be SURE to let your (and your friends') outrage be known to Walmart. They need to let the vendors know of this problem.

Cypress is harvested from native stands of cypress. I'd be willing to bet that the weeds and their seeds are harvested along with the trees. Just another reason not to use cypress, ever.

Weeds seeds are also transported by wind, by landscaping companies, birds, etc.

I seriously doubt that ANYthing is ruined. Be persistent in removing the existing weeds in the beds and be prepared to apply (or have someone apply) a pre-emergent herbicide in the early fall and in the early spring. Extra large weeds can be clipped at the base. Paint the cut stem with RoundUp.

Do you have Mimosa VINE or another species of mimosa? Look up Mimosa strigillosa for comparison.

If you have a digital camera, you can take some decent pictures of your other weeds and post them on this forum or on the 'Name this Plant' forum, right here in the gardenweb. Identification is very helpful in weed control.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 4:28PM
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sherilynn(Zone 9)

Thank you for your input.

The name on the bags of the mulch I used from Wal-Mart is: Timberline Cypress Mulch Blend, in 2 cf bags. It's a nightmare product. Furthermore, we spent all weekend weeding and sterilizing areas. Pulling roots and cutting and painting areas. We have so much more to do. It's almost ridiculous.

Any suggestions on what to put on the lawn? I don't think regular Scott's or Lesco on my centipede grass is going to get these weeds. They are rampant now. I've can't wait until spring.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 3:48PM
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sherilynn(Zone 9)

I wrote a letter to the Mulch and Soil Council and they contacted the manufacturers of the mulch with which I am so disgusted about.

After spending the weekend weeding, I gladly returned the rep's call this morning and told him that I was outside earlier this morning going around my house and putting out more sterilizer in places that newer weeds popped up since we had weeded this weekend. We have never needed a sterilizer before now, nor had these kinds of problems before buying this mulch. These weeds are growing in places we never had weeds grow before and they are growing back so fast. Weed killer "ain't working" like it use to do!!!

Truthfully, it's probably going to have to be removed. But now I feel the ground is contaminated and full of seeds. We're spending more on weed products and probably going to hurt the soil or do something unintentional to the other plants. ACTUALLY, I've already sprayed killer on some of my other plants.

The rep from the company kindly offered to come to our home tomorrow to see what we have growing right now. We still have some areas that have not been dealt with around the side of the house, so I'm hoping he will be able to see exactly what kind of growth I'm talking about that is uncommon to us.

For those that are interested, I will post what happens.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 1:00PM
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What happened with the rep?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 10:48AM
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sherilynn(Zone 9)

The Rep never showed. Never called again. School started and my mother got very sick. She was in the hospital constantly until February 26, 2010, when she passed and those damn weeds were no longer on my mind, as you can imagine.

Yet, here I sit, trying to get on with life, taking care of all of the little bull crap that comes with the tedious care of 'life'... and lawn. And I hired Scott's this year because those mimosa, lespedeza, spurge, and dollar, have crept into my lawn since last year. I used two fertilizers last year: Scott's and Lesco on my centipede grass and it's a mess. I usually only used Lesco. Now it's a mess. So, let's see what the pros make out of the yard. I have well over an acre ($165/month to spray) so I'm giving him three months to get my yard looking decent. I expect to see major improvements.

As for the beds around the house, they're not spraying the beds. I'm doing those and I'm just going to be tedious and go to my local nursery and get pine chibbles this year as I always have up until last year. No more cypress for me. I've learned my lesson.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 11:36AM
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Bargains always come at a price.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 1:19PM
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I wish you the best of luck with your problem. Last year, we purchased many bags of cypress mulch from Home Depot. Shortly after I put it in our flower beds, this invasion of some type of bug/beetle that I've never seen before started eating every leaf on our roses and azaleas. I took pictures of the pests but was unable to ID them.

I'm convinced that the bugs or beetles came with the mulch. There are still 2, unopened bags of that mulch out by the boat because I refused to dump any more of those bugs in my yard. Thank goodness they didn't hang around all spring and summer. I must have killed close to a thousand of them.

Anyway, I know now that bugs aren't the only problem you can get when you buy mulch.

Again, good luck!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 7:51PM
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I am sorry for your loss. I too have been frustrated by weeds in the past. You should never use Cyprus mulch anyway because it comes from a non / slowly renewable resource. The trees they use are hundreds of years old and Cyprus is slow growing. You should not give the lawn treatment pros an ultimatum... they will be less likely to perform at their best if you act unstaisfied from the beginning. Also, it is not their fault that you have weeds. In 6 months, if you still hve the problem, then it could be that their treatment is not working as expected. Some of the plant / bug species that you are saying is non-native to your area may be on the move to your zone, especially if you are on the border of the zone south of you. The national temperature averages have risen by almost 10 degrees in the last 25 years. For example, it is now not unheard of for armadillos to be seen as far north as Iowa and southern Wisconsin. Mimossa seeds can remain dormant for years, so it is unlikely that you will have complete control over these in the near future. It may have come from the mulch as Florida (source of most cyprus mulch in the U.S.) has mimosa listed as a category 2 invasive species. Keep diligent in your weeding and observing, use a more enviornmentally friendly mulch, and stop blaming / B itching at everyone who is trying to help you. They will not perform their best if they already know that you are not a steady source of income.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 11:01PM
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sherilynn(Zone 9)

jposs, your comments sucked. But for the record, I still had some of those crappy bags of mulch from LAST year. I opened one up late last summer and threw some Schultz Professional Potting Soil Plus on top of the mulch. Guess what grew? MIMOSA WEEDS. That mulch had TRASH in it. I have NEVER had mimosa weeds in my yard: EVER. That mulch company rep was as full of crap as you. I know how to weed and accept responsibility for MY yard. But when I buy mulch full of TRASH AND WEED SEED I KNOW IT! Caveat emptor! "Let the buyer beware".

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 9:15AM
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sherilynn(Zone 9)

FYI, I AM PAYING $164 A MONTH right now to Scott's, for the time being, to treat my yard for weeds to make sure that those weeds do not come back this year. I have 1.4 acres, that's why so much. We didn't want to take any chances.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 9:20AM
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LOL! I cannot believe someone was so daft (no offense intended, just stating a fact) as to buy THAT MUCH STUFF from WALmart of all places. I mean honestly - spend the extra few hundred bux at an actually decent store. This is a prime example of a really bad decision, I am suprised you even posted this here out of sheer embarrasment. Sorry, I am just pointing out the obvious. Everyone else: Let this be a lesson to you: We all shop at Wal-Mart from time to time. DO NOT buy hundreds of bags of ANYTHING there expecting a quality product. This is just silly.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 2:35AM
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sherilynn(Zone 9)

"This is just silly." To this, I will agree and say, "no $+hit!"

As for the "DAFT" comment, no need to be rude. I find WalMart to usually have many QUALITY products at a fair price, which some snobs do not dare tread out of fear of catching cooties.

I shop at WalMart frequently and save money every time. I am very frugal and know how to shop and how to spend. As for Scott's: their days are numbered. I didn't want a recurrence of last year.

As for being embarrassed for posting, why should I? We should all be able to expect a quality product from the manufacturer. It doesn't matter if it's dog food, carpet cleaner, or mulch. Performance matters.

QUALITY CONTROL SUCKED AT THE MULCH FACILITY. When that cypress was sent through the chipper, it had all kinds of "road trash" or underbrush debris. The company didn't care and they sent it on to the consumer. You seem to forget, I am not the only person that had the same results. This was NOT a 'one bag' problem. Many of the people I came into contact with that bought the exact same mulch had similar problems.

Furthermore, FYI the nursery that I usually purchased my pine mulch from was 'out' of cypress mulch, hence 'why' I bought bagged mulch from WalMart; plus they were a quarter a bag cheaper than HD at the time of purchase. Do the math... :D Had the mulch been a quality product, there would have been no problems.

Let's let this be the end of talking about this mulch. This truly is old news. OK? Peace.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 7:56AM
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The only comment I made in my post that is not truth / verifiable is that you should stop B itching at everyone. But then again, you are verifying it by continuing to B-itch. everything I said is completely researchable. If you don't want any help or suggestions from Master Gardeners, QUIT POSTING DUMB@SS!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 4:09PM
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Hold it. This forum is not run by Master Gardeners. Many on here have been, are, or have decided not to be. Since different states have different rules for Master Gardeners some have excellent training some not so good. It is nice to have all kinds of view points some good some bad but based on own learning and experience. In this state it used to be that a MG could not use the title except when doing an official duty such as speaking or other functions. It may have changed by now. Been there not even remotely interested.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 12:34AM
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I don't think Walmart is the culprit here, it's cypress mulch period, no matter where it is bought. There is a weed grass that always comes up from this mulch, don't know what it is, but we never had it until we put down cypress mulch, also the weed chamberbitter, which looks like mimosa. We bought it from a supplier and had it delivered the last time, but usually we bought it at the big home box stores, and it was the same way. So I have stopped buying cypress mulch anywhere. We have been using pine needles whenever we can scrape up enough of it, also pine bark in certain areas. But I do need to come up with some other way, we still have weeds and they are getting out of hand. So please don't blame Walmart, they are only selling what people want, which is usually the cheapest and the worst quality, but there are a lot of people in this world who don't have a money tree in the back yard.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 10:39AM
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Hmm. I've used Timberline brand cypress mulch all around my yard every year (usually about 140 bags per year) for over 10 years and have NEVER had single weed from it. On the contrary, it TOTALLY keeps all weeds in check. I just put down another 40 bags today and will be buying more soon. I just googled "Timberline cypress mulch" to see if I could find it for a discount anywhere and ran across your post.

For the record, I buy mine from Home Depot, not Walmart, but that shouldn't make any difference, since it's the Timberline company that's responsible for what's contained inside the bags.

Sorry to read about your problem but I've never had a single issue with this brand of mulch. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 3:37PM
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Thanks for all the great info. I just came back from Aldi's. They just got a stock of Timberline Cyprus Mulch in store. Each bag sells for 2.49 ... Cyprus Mulch at Hope Depot lists for 3.15 and Lowes for 2.89 ... if anyone is interestd ... I have been doing yard work for a neighbor recently and she has me use Cyprus Mulch on her yards. There is a terrible weed problem at her places. Now whether it is from the mulch or just weeds not sure. But these suckers grow deep into the ground and have underground trailers that can be 10 feet long .. a real pain to deal with .. I normally just have to dig down until I reach the rhizomes (????) and just keep on pulling. Hope the guy got the bags analyzed .. that could be his expense recovery in small claims court. Who knows.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 8:10PM
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I put down 80 bags of Lowes cypress mulch last fall and the only places there are significant weeds are the mulched areas. They are covered with weeds, particularly wild violets. You can't even see the mulch. I've pulled weeds and sprayed weeds. It is very disheartening since mulch should help prevent weed growth. The opposite is true. I don't blame the vendor, but I do think that there is a problem with the mulch.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 6:27PM
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