Frequently Asked Questions

I am used to mulch look­ing fluffy and thick when I spray it. Why does Syn­er­mulch mulch look thin­ner and does this impact per­for­mance?

Syn­er­mulch prod­ucts were designed by com­pletely re-thinking the key ele­ments behind mulch per­for­mance.  Our mulch delib­er­ately con­tours to the soil sur­face in a thin, extremely strong layer that max­i­mizes seed to soil con­tact, and seals mois­ture in the soil itself.  This max­i­mizes ero­sion pro­tec­tion, while pro­vid­ing a bet­ter envi­ron­ment for seeds to estab­lish as the emerg­ing seedling roots have a much bet­ter chance of reach­ing and root­ing in the soil itself rather than being stranded in the mulch itself.  Hav­ing the mulch lay down in a thin layer has the added ben­e­fit of pro­vid­ing less of an envi­ron­ment for air­borne weed seeds to be cap­tured by the mulch.  This reduces the com­pe­ti­tion desired plants face once they ger­mi­nate.

Why doesn’t Syn­er­mulch use wood fiber like most mulch since it is com­monly spec­i­fied?

Syn­er­mulch mulch prod­ucts are a blend of three fiber types: short stem fibers sim­i­lar to wood in func­tion, wood cel­lu­lose (paper), and bast fibers.  We believe a blend of fibers with dif­fer­ent per­for­mance char­ac­ter­is­tics will always be supe­rior to a prod­uct based on one fiber type.  The key to our mulch per­for­mance is the bast fibers.  Bast fibers are extremely strong plant fibers found only in a few plants through­out the world.  Bast fibers are longer, stronger, and more flex­i­ble than wood fibers, which allow them to drape over soil and con­tour more read­ily and rein­force the soil in a way short, stiff fibers like wood can­not.  The per­for­mance advan­tage of bast fibers has been known about by the ero­sion con­trol indus­try for decades but their strength and flex­i­bil­ity make them noto­ri­ously dif­fi­cult to process.  Our man­u­fac­tur­ing facil­ity is the only one of its kind in the world and has been designed specif­i­cally to process bast fibers for ero­sion con­trol.  This is a major part of the Syn­er­mulch advan­tage.

How is it pos­si­ble the Syn­er­mulch mulch requires so lit­tle water to spray com­pared to other mulch?

The bast and stem fibers in our mulch blends are not thermo-mechanically refined like wood fibers.  The thermo-mechanical refin­ing process used to man­u­fac­ture wood mulches opens the struc­ture of the wood fibers, mak­ing them much more absorbent than what they would be nat­u­rally.  This causes the fibers to swell in the pres­ence of mois­ture, reduc­ing the amount of mulch that can be mixed in a tank, and poten­tially caus­ing plug­ging.  There is an inverse rela­tion­ship between the water hold­ing capac­ity of a mulch and the amount of mulch that can be mixed in a tank.

Syn­er­mulch mulch has lower water hold­ing capac­ity than wood mulch. Isn’t high water hold­ing capac­ity needed to help with seed ger­mi­na­tion?

Mulch water hold­ing capac­ity and tank mix­ing ratios are inversely related.  Since our mulch absorbs less water, we can fit more mulch in a tank.  The amount of water needed to ger­mi­nate seedlings also needs to be place in per­spec­tive.  Apply­ing 3000 Kg/Ha of wood mulch to a site with a water mix ratio of 125 gal­lons per bag, means that 16,500 gal­lons of water are required per hectare, at least 20% more than is required for MulchMax.  This same 16,500 gal­lons of water, equates to only ¼ of an inch of rainfall/hectare.  This cer­tainly helps ger­mi­na­tion, but is not enough to sus­tain ger­mi­na­tion.  Our phi­los­o­phy is that a good mulch should allow water through and lock it in the soil itself where we want the roots to grow.  This does not hap­pen if the mulch absorbs the water before it reaches the soil itself.  We also believe that the lower water hold­ing capac­ity of our mulch pro­vides an ero­sion con­trol advan­tage to the cus­tomer.  More absorbent mulches are sim­ply heav­ier dur­ing rain­fall and there­fore face more strain on their inter­lock­ing fiber/tackifier bonds.

Is there Guar in Syn­er­mulch tack­i­fier for­mu­las?

Guar is a key com­po­nent of our tack­i­fier for­mula, but not the only com­po­nent, like the mulch itself we believe that a blend of poly­mers can pro­vide a bet­ter, more rounded per­for­mance than one ingre­di­ent alone.  We use a blend of nat­ural plant-based poly­mers in our tack­i­fier that allow us to exceed the per­for­mance of guar alone.  Our tack­i­fier for­mula has also been cus­tomized to our fiber blend for opti­mal per­for­mance but can be used with other fiber types as well.

I have tried sin­gle step appli­ca­tions (mulch, seed, fer­til­izer) in one pass before with lit­tle suc­cess. Is this pos­si­ble with Syn­er­mulch?

Syn­er­mulch mulches require less water per bag of mulch than wood mulch and do not swell like wood mulch.  This enables us to apply more mulch per hectare with sig­nif­i­cantly less water.  Too much water can cause the mulch to peel and roll down­hill.  Since our mulch does not swell like wood mulch, it also sus­pends fewer seedlings in the fiber matrix.  These two fac­tors together allow the abil­ity to be applied in a one-step process lead­ing to sig­nif­i­cant cost sav­ings.  It should be noted that within the one-step process, we still rec­om­mend apply­ing the mulch from two dif­fer­ent direc­tions to max­i­mize cov­er­age.

Do you still have questions?

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Con­tact our Tech­ni­cal Sales Lead:

Trevor Kloeck