Mulch Dye – Does it work?

Mulch dye - does it look as good as new mulch?

There is nothing better than the smell of fresh mulch and that beautiful contrast of black mulch against lush, green grass. What is not great is spending an arm and a leg each Spring to mulch your yard. This is especially true for those with a large or heavily landscaped yard. Thankfully, we may have found a way to get the new-mulch look at a fraction of the price! Too good to be true?  Only time will tell!

Why are we doing a mulch dye test?

In our last house, The Sweet Suburban, we would pick up 12 bags of mulch at the local hardware store and spend a few hours laying it down. Three hours and $45 bucks – not bad!  In The Arched Manor, we now have a large yard with many beds and trees. Mulching has since become more expensive and time consuming.

The first year in our current house, we purchased 2 pallets of mulch and spent a couple days laying it down. However, we ran out of mulch about halfway through. We were still in full renovation mode inside the home, so finishing the mulching took a backseat. We eventually had a landscape company come and finish the job.

So this year, we researched how to save money and time with mulching, and we came across mulch dye. The more we read about it, the more it made sense! It is the same dye they use when making/bagging new mulch, but available in liquid concentrate.

In our beds, there is still a decent covering of mulch over the dirt – it is just faded from the sun and moisture.  Spraying these areas would bring back the black mulch color, but would it stand up to the elements?  How many coats would it take to get the deep black color we wanted? These are all questions we want answers to, and the best way to get these answers is to do some good old-fashioned experimenting!

Mulch Dye Test Details

We will test two different mulch dying products and compare how they hold their look against a fresh bag of mulch. We have three trees around our driveway that get the same amount of sunlight and have the same exposure to rain and wind. Two of the trees will be sprayed with mulch dye and the third will get the fresh bag of mulch. 

The first mulch dye we are testing is Black Mulch Dye from Peach Country.  The second mulch dye we are testing is ColorBlack Mulch Dye. To apply the dye, we are using a Scotts 2-gallon sprayer that has three spray modes (which is helpful when applying to different kinds of flower beds/areas). 

Mulch dye on tree 1 - day 1
Mulch dye on tree 2 - day 1
A fresh bag of mulch on tree 3

On our Instagram page, we have a highlight called “Mulch Dye’ that shows us applying the dye and mulch to our test areas. Follow along in stories to see the updates in real-time!

Pictured above are the three areas on day 1 of the experiment. After four weeks, we will compare the three trees and see how mulch dye performed against a fresh bag of mulch and write a comprehensive blog post.

Have you used mulch dye before? What was your experience, and would you do it again? Let us know in the comments section below!

Mulch Dye Test Results

We have completed our mulch dye test, check out this blog to see the results!

Products Used

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Meet Megan & John

Hi there! We’re a married couple with a passion for DIY, decor, and home improvement! We’re currently renovating The Arched Manor in Leesburg, VA.