Gorilla hair mulch actually has nothing to do with a gorilla. The name was coined out of its resemblance with the hair of a gorilla.
Gorilla hair mulch is produced from the bark of redwood or red cedar. It’s the part that is often left out when cutting redwood trees, which are used for lumbar.
Gorilla hair mulch is basically shredded redwood.
It’s a recommended mulch that is commonly used because of its unique nature and benefits. However, as beneficial as it is, the mulch also has some downsides that are worth giving some considerations when you intend to use it.
Gorilla Hair Mulch Pros
1 It prevents weeds and pests
One of the major aims of using mulch is to prevent weeds. Gorilla hair mulch does this perfectly because of its nature. It forms a mat-like structure that’s thick and dense enough to prevent sunlight from passing through it. This hinders the growth of weed seeds and eventually keep your environment weed-free.
Weeds may still grow on the mulch in wet climates, but this can be easily corrected by hand weeding. Using gorilla hair mulch is a good way of completely eradicating the use of herbicides.
Gorilla mulch, which can be gotten from redwood or cedar bark, contains natural chemicals that are harmful to pests like moths, rodents, ants, fleas, and cockroaches. It is a good choice of mulch for effective pest control.
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2 It stays put
Unlike some mulches that move here and there when the wind blows, gorilla hair mulch stays wherever it is placed. It mats and merges together to form a bonded structure that isn’t easily displaced. It is a good choice for a steep area where other mulches tend to fall down the steep.
Gorilla hair mulch is a good alternative for windy areas where straws and small wood chips don’t stay put. The dense mat structure is formed as the mulch gradually breaks down. This means that the mulch as a tendency to blow around before it mats. But this is usually more predominant in seacoasts or other areas with persistent winds.
3 It is easy to use
Installing the gorilla hair mulch isn’t a difficult task that requires tedious preparations. A jute mat can be laid on the floor before placing the mulch to help it mulch faster. But have in mind that doing this may enhance the growth of weed.
Since the mulch mats and becomes dense, you should periodically examine the soil beneath it to ensure that it gets as much water as required. This is a good practice to avoid the growth of weed and to enable the mulch to get the job done as expected.
4 It helps the soil to retain water
As explained earlier, gorilla hair mulch forms a thick mat. This is a good thing as it prevents evaporation and helps the soil to retain water. The mat formed shields the root of plants from the sun, which is a very desirable quality during the summer months or in dry climate areas. This makes the mulch a great choice for use in such regions. Using drip irrigation is a great idea for a positive outcome.
You have to take the type of soil you have into consideration before using this mulch. For sandy soil, consider mulching thick – about 2” to 3” – and frequently watering light. For clay soil, you may choose to mulch thin and water less frequently.
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5 It is durable
Gorilla hair mulch is a fibrous material that’s known for its longevity and slow decomposition. This is majorly why it’s often used in commercial environments.
As it decomposes, it also releases nitrogen and other nutrients that will enhance the growth of plants. These features make it a good mulch for perennial plants that don’t require an annual bed. But note that the nitrogen it releases cannot be used to replace fertilizers like grass mulches.
Redwood and cedar, which are the major sources of gorilla hair mulch, have longed been used for long-lasting outdoor furniture. This durability property is also found in this mulch. Gorilla hair mulch performs well for several years before it needs to be replaced.
6 It has a unique look
The hairy appearance and texture of the mulch, which is why it is named gorilla hair, is a unique sight to behold. The mulch is available in two rich colors; brownish-red and dyed black. The colors give your garden a beautiful appearance that’s pleasing to the eye.
Depending on your taste, you may choose a color that will blend with your soil and make the whole appearance uniform or choose a different color to give it a contrasting feel.
The color fades over time but it still retains a pleasant appearance stands the test of time. This also makes it a preferred choice in commercial environments.
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Gorilla Hair Mulch Cons
1 It isn’t pet-friendly
Gorilla hair mulch is fibrous in nature. This means that animals that dogs and goats can become curious and chew your mulch. Even though the mulch on its own isn’t harmful, it could pose a choking hazard to them. This could result in serious health damage to your pets.
Your best bet is to look for an alternative if you have a curious pet around. But if you must use the mulch and still keep such pet, then you have to supervise your met and make sure that they don’t get in trouble by chewing the mulch.
2 It is flammable
A lot of folks are curious to know the answer to the common question “is gorilla hair mulch flammable?”. Well, the answer is “yes, it is flammable”.
It is a flammable mulch that shouldn’t be used in areas that are prone to flames, fire outbreak, cigarette butt, and the likes. If there’s any fear of fire outbreak, consider non-flammable options like gravels and pebbles. Wood chips are sometimes also preferred over gorilla mulch when there’s a fear of fire outbreaks.
Straw mulches and pine needles also pose a risk of fire hazards.
3 It can prevent water from reaching the soil
The mat-like formation by the gorilla hair mulch is both an advantage and a disadvantage. When the mulch is too thick, the mat becomes dense and prevents the passage of water to the soil. This could defeat the purpose of applying the mulch and affect its performance.
To prevent this from occurring, don’t mulch too thick and ensure that you inspect the soil frequently. If you must mulch thick, then ensure that you water frequently and confirm that water gets to the soil.
This is a problem that isn’t experienced in other mulches that don’t mat and bond together tightly.