Cocoa Shell Mulch
General Purpose Mulch for Gardeners
Cocoa Shell Mulch is general purpose mulch for gardeners, both professional and amateur. It is used for horticultural & landscaping purposes, being ideal decorative mulch with it's deep attractive copper colour, and rich in nutrients. The rich colour contrasts beautifully with the vibrant green of plants and foliage, setting them off very well.
Cocoa Shell Mulch is perfect for suppressing weeds and retaining moisture in garden beds and borders. It will also protect the ground from frost. Bark mulch and other variations only cost a fraction less than Cocoa Shell Mulch according to GardenCentre.co.uk, and they lack many key benefits. Cocoa Shell Mulch contains natural slow release plant fertiliser and trace elements, which are very beneficial to your plants.
The Cocoa Shell Mulch breaks down over time, rotting into the soil. This improves the structure of the soil and simply topping it up every few years will maintain the benefits.
Also called Sunshine of Africa, Cocoa Shell Mulch is actually a by product of the chocolate industry, the shells being from the cocoa bean. This effective mulch will not only suppress weeds and retain moisture, but will also repel slugs and snails. Once the Cocoa Shell Mulch has been spread over the ground and has been watered or rained on once or twice, a crust will form which binds the mulch together. This crust helps to keep out the slugs and snails. Cocoa Shell Mulch gels into a sticky mat just below its surface and forms a highly protective layer if left undisturbed.
Cocoa Shell Mulch is a very pleasant material to use, and easy to spread. It acts as an attractive covering for borders and beds, at a relatively low cost. Cocoa Shell Mulch is the leading decorative weed suppressing mulch and its virtues are often extolled by gardening experts on radio and television, as well as in gardening books and magazines.
How Is Cocoa Shell Mulch Made?
The Chocolate Industry
Cocoa Shell Mulch is made from natural renewable resources as a by product of chocolate manufacturing. Cocoa shells are simply the shells of the cocoa bean. Cocoa beans are a couple of centimetres across, dark brown in colour and grown mainly in Africa.
The cocoa beans are shipped whole into the UK, roasted and shelled. The inside of the bean is used to manufacture chocolate products. Instead of being discarded, the shells are bagged up for use as cocoa shell mulch.
In the manufacturing process, the cocoa shells are physically stripped off after roasting, by blasting air. The shells are emerge dried, cleaned and free of weeds etc.
What Is Cocoa Shell Mulch Used For?
Mulch & Soil Conditioner
Cocoa Shell is an excellent garden mulch and soil conditioner. The product is mainly used as general purpose garden mulch, although it can also be dug it into sandy or clay soils, and will break up heavy soils. It is used as a protective cover in flower beds, generally after planting, although it is easy enough to plant through the mulch crust.
How Do I Use Cocoa Shell Mulch?
Easy To Use
Cocoa Shell Mulch is very easy to use. First of all get your plants bedded in, and remove the majority of the weeds. Lay down the Cocoa Shell Mulch to a depth of 5 centimetres or 2 inches. Spread the Cocoa Shell Mulch out as evenly as you can over the bed, and around the plants, being careful to maintain the depth. It is important to use a thick enough layer so that weeds are suppressed effectively.
When finished, water the Cocoa Shell Mulch liberally with a hose or watering can. This releases natural sticky glue from the shells, which sticks them together to form a porous mat. The result is protective matting that will allow water through, which shoots can penetrate, and which plants can expand through. The mat prevents weed growth and reduces water evaporation from the soil surface.
Cocoa Shell Mulch carries a lovely smell of chocolate when the bag is opened, and is very pleasant to handle and spread. The smell dissipates in about 2-3 weeks.
Cats tend to stay away from mulched borders which can be a benefit or not, depending if you are a cat lover, but it does stop them digging. An ideal time to dig in the mulch is at the end of the season as the composted cocoa shell helps to break up heavy soils and promote healthy root growth the following season.
Is Cocoa Shell Mulch Expensive?
The cost of mulch is not that great, generally seven to ten pounds per large 70 litre bag. Cocoa Shell Mulch is a little more expensive than other mulches, but only slightly and for the significant difference in quality it is well worth the extra pound.
Cocoa Shell Mulch is also a fairly light product, a large 70 litre bag would weight around 15Kg. This means it does cover a lot of ground area, so compared to other products this does make it more economical. A 70 litre bag will cover about 1.4 square metres to a depth of 5cm.
In summary, the benefits that you get from using Cocoa Shell Mulch; better soil condition, improved water retention, nicer appearance, etc. easily outweigh the extra cost.
All About Cocoa Shell Mulch
Cocoa shell is a natural fertiliser, containing 3 percent nitrogen, 1 percent phosphorous and 3 percent potassium, commonly referred to as an NPK fertiliser. The pH factor of the mulch is 5.8. Bark and wood mulches contain much lower levels of these nutrients.
It also contains 0.5 percent magnesium which is a key nutrient for plants. It is 100 percent natural organic matter, which carries no health risk or fire hazard. It contains no dyes, and exudes a rich natural colour.
Cocoa Shell Mulch does however contain a naturally occurring substance called Theobromine which is harmful and potentially dangerous to dogs. However, the good news is that this dissipates after a few weeks, after the mulch has been watered in and settled. The general advice is to keep dogs away from the area until it has had time to bed in.
If you dog is showing signs of restlessness, panting, pacing, or anxious behaviour and you think it may have eaten your new cocoa shell mulch, contact the vet immediately.
A white mould occasionally appears on cocoa shell when first applied this soon disappears as the cocoa shell starts to form the crust which binds it together. It may emit a more unpleasant odour during this period, but this will soon go. The Cocoa Shell Mulch contains a naturally occurring protein, which causes the mould. It is perfectly normal and will disappear in time. You could use a fungicide to prevent the formation of the mould if you wish.
Buy Cocoa Shell Mulch
Buy Cocoa Shell Mulch by the 70 litre bag, for £13.11. buy now
Cocoa Shell Mulch Facts
1. Cocoa Shell Mulch is a by product of the chocolate industry, and has a rich colour.
2. It has significant advantages over regular bark or wood mulch.
3. It smells fantstic for the first couple of weeks, and is great for your garden.