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Gardening Hacks: How to Make Your Own Mulch Dye

How to Make Your Own Mulch Dye
When you spread mulch in your garden or potted plants, it helps prevent growth of weeds and underlying soil to retain moisture. Read the Gardenerdy article on how you can make your own mulch dye for the garden.
Sheetal Mandora
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2018
Anyone who's had some kind of experience gardening and landscaping knows what mulch dye is. But for beginner gardeners, we will take a closer look at what this dye is and how mulching is done correctly. Mulch is a beneficial layer or cover which is spread directly on top of the soil in your garden. It helps in keeping the soil moist, decrease the risk of soil erosion during rainy seasons and while watering, provides nutrients to the soil and plants, decreases the chances of weed growth, and increases seed germination.
If you are not able to give ample attention to your garden, then mulch is the best way to go. Apart from the benefits we talked about above, mulch also helps in protecting the plants in various weather and temperature changes. The plants don't get easily frozen or thawed due to the presence of mulch. But that was all about mulch. What about the dye? What is it good for?
Make the Mulching Dye
In the following section, we will go over the instructions on how to make the dye at home. All it takes is few simple ingredients and the right steps. With the basic recipe mentioned below, you can easily make gallons of dyed mulch, and save money on your gardening and landscaping expenses.
  • First of all, wear comfortable clothing (anything that you don't mind getting dirty or stained) and protective garden gloves.
  • The dye is semi-permanent; so it is quite likely that you may get your clothes dirty. Wear old clothes that you don't mind getting spoiled.
  • Now before making the dye, spread the mulch all over the soil in your garden.
  • Next, we collect the ingredients―16 oz. mulch colorant, a 5-gallon bucket, and 1½ gallons of water.
  • Whether you got gold, red, brown, or black dye, the colorant package will have specific mixing directions mentioned on the back.
  • Add the water in the bucket, and mix the colorant as well.
  • Stir with a paint stirrer to get the color incorporated completely.
  • All there's left to do is add the colored water inside the garden sprayer.
  • And now you know what your next move will be, spraying the mulch all over your garden with the dye.
  • Make sure you are spraying adequate amount of dye over the mulch, and not overdoing it in particular areas.
When you dye the mulch, what it does is make your garden aesthetically appealing. Whenever we plant beautiful flower and/or fruit plants, the mulch gives the entire garden an elegant look. There are different types of mulch, as in different colors available―shades of red, gold, black, and brown. However, going to the store and purchasing a new bag of colored mulch can be pretty expensive. And so, to keep expenses to a minimum, you can make it at home from the instructions we just mentioned above.
While spraying the dye, it's normal to get the solution concentrated in certain areas. To avoid that error, have someone watch you while you're doing this step and tell you where you missed. Also, make sure that the dye you use is nontoxic so that if it gets soaked into the soil, it won't damage your garden in any way. This way, you can assure that your garden or landscape gets the best coverage possible. As time passes, the dye may fade. But with the steps given above, you can easily reapply the dye whenever you want, and replenish the look of your garden.
Mulching around the Bushes
Garden gloves green
spreading the new mulch