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Add color to your landscape with eco-friendly dyed-mulch alternatives

Updated: Apr 11

With the arrival of spring on the shores of Lake Michigan, it's time to spruce up your yard and landscape. To enhance the beauty of outdoor spaces, we encourage customers to consider eco-friendly alternatives to traditional practices like using dyed mulch to add color and visual interest to their yard. Consider these sustainable mulch alternatives to create a beautiful outdoor space, while also making a positive impact on the environment.


Mulch is a great way to enhance the look of your garden while also protecting your soil and plants. However, not all mulches are created equal. Natural mulch is a type of organic material that comes from tree bark, wood chips, pine straw, grass clippings or leaves. It's an eco-friendly option that not only provides essential nutrients to the soil but also prevents soil erosion, inhibits weed growth, and gives your landscape a beautiful look.


On the other hand, dyed mulch is not a natural option. While visually appealing initially, it can wreak havoc on the soil's structure, ultimately leading to the demise of plants and trees. This inorganic matter, often derived from chemically treated or dyed wood, not only fails to break down properly but also leaches harmful chemicals into the soil over time. 


Therefore, let’s explore some alternatives to dyed mulch, including natural mulch, that can help maintain the beauty AND health of your landscape.


  1. Substitute using pine bark - Utilizing actual tree bark as mulch offers an organic solution that not only enhances the natural aesthetic but also fosters healthier soil.

  2. Incorporate hardscaping – Another alternative that creates visual appeal is to incorporate hardscaping elements or yard art, such as Corten steel sculptures. These types of structures not only provide visual intrigue but also endure without polluting the soil. It's important to distinguish between hardscaping and using stones or small pebbles. While using stones as mulch is a low-maintenance option, it can cause significant damage to plants that are not suited for that type of covering. Therefore, we do not recommend using stones as a mulch alternative.

  3. Combine texture and color - When designing your landscape, prioritize texture alongside color. Native plants that bloom in spring can infuse early vibrancy into your yard while supporting local biodiversity. By strategically layering plants and allowing them to weave together over time, they can act as ground cover eventually eliminating the need for mulch. They also create a dynamic tapestry of colors and textures that evolve with the seasons. 

At Roots Wild, we help you maintain your investment with maintenance packages tailored to nurture native plant propagation and suppress invasive species like turf grass. By creating defined borders and prioritizing plant diversity, you can minimize the need for excessive mulching and cultivate a sustainable landscape that thrives for years to come.

Together, we can redefine conventional notions of landscaping and create spaces that balance visual intrigue with sustainability.

Learn more about our Landscaping and Hardscaping design solutions.

Rendering of eco-friendly landscape

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