Pros: retains color for a year, looks great and easy to work with
Cons: can be more expensive than other mulches, some bags have inconsistant color
Why I used Scotts Nature Scapes Advanced Color Enhanced Mulch
Last year we hired someone to edge and mulch and I was not impressed with the mulch that they used as it faded quickly and after the first week or two it looked terrible. Our neighbors used Scotts Nature Scapes Color Enhanced bagged mulch in Deep Forest Brown and their mulch looked great all season. With the cost of having someone out to mulch and then not being happy with it a couple weeks later I decided to go with the bagged mulch and do it myself.
Packaging and Product
Scotts Color Enhanced Mulch comes in 2 cubic foot bags. A 2 cubic foot bag of mulch will cover 6 to 12 square foot of bedding area. One thing I really liked about about the Scotts Nature Scapes Enhanced is that it comes in strong bags that are clean and easy to work with. It seems liked the plastic was a little stronger than some other bags I have used in the past which makes the job easier
The Scotts Mulch comes in 3 colors: Deep Forest Brown, Classic Black, and sierra Red. We used the Deep Forest Brown because I think it looks the best with our house. It is a nice dark brown color.
Cost / Value
At approximately $5 a bag this mulch is rather pricey but for me it was worth it. I did get it on sale for $4 for the first batch I bought but the second was not on sale so I payed full price. Compared to what I paid for guys to edge and mulch, I paid less than 1/4 of what they charged me. Granted they did the edging too but it seemed to me from the way they quoted their prices I was paying mostly for mulch. Given the quality of the mulch I would rather do the work myself and spend less.
How much to buy
If you have bought bulk mulch before generally that is purchased by the cubic yard. One cubic yard is equal to about 27 cubic feet. For one cubic yard you would need 13.5 bags. Frankly in looking at how much I am getting I think part of the way that the bulk mulch sellers make money is by selling you less but charging you for a little more. So I would measure your beds before going on how many cubic yards you were told that you needed by a landscaper doing your mulch. You will want to determine how deep you want to do your mulch first. For new beds you may be using a deeper layer of mulch, but for just a freshening up of beds you can go with a thinner layer.
To prevent weeds from growing Scotts suggests using at least a 3 inch layer of mulch. At a depth of 3 inches one bag will cover 8 square feet. If you want a thinner 2 inch layer a bag will cover 12 square feet. A thicker layer of 4 inches would cover 6 square feet. figure more or less as needed for the depth you want.
Spreading the Mulch
For a deep layer of mulch in new beds you can dump out the bag and spread it around by hand or with a rake. I find that doing it by hand works better than using a rake because the rake tends to dredge up things from underneath and you will get a cleaner look doing it by hand. You may want to use gloves to keep your hands from getting to dirty. I don't because I never can remember to do it. Compared to other dyed mulch I have used, this does not transfer dye to my hands at all which is nice.
If you are just trying to get a thin cover layer I would suggest fluffing it up first with you hands and then apply it by sprinkling on the ground evenly by hand. You can fluff a little at a time in the bag or pour a bag into a wheel barrow and fluff there and then apply. For areas where I really just wanted to get a new covering and really did not want extra inches of mulch depth this worked great and helped me maximize the square footage of mulch per bag.
Company Claims and Warranty
Nature Scapes Advanced Color enhanced Mulch is guaranteed to retain it's color for one full year. The website says it is guaranteed so I guess you can get your money back if it does not do what it says. The Scotts company says that their Nature Scapes Advanced Mulch will save you 30% water compared to other mulches. It says it does this through water smart technology allowing water to flow through the mulch rather than run off. Scotts mulch is designed to help prevent weeds naturally by blocking growth and access to sunlight.
Copied directly from the website is this warranty:
"If for any reason you, the consumer, are not satisfied with the results of using this product, you are entitled to get your money back. Simply send us evidence of purchase and we will mail you a refund check promptly."
After putting down about 50 bags of this mulch I have to drop my rating to 4 stars from my original 5. The reason for this has to do with inconsistencies in the bags. Some of the bags I pour out and they have a nice brown color and others have some pieces that are nearly black and I have also found things like pop can pop tops and other little surprises in the mulch. It does seem to even out after it sits a bit but for the price I think they could work on the quality control a little. I will come back at the end of the season and let you know how well it has held up.
Thanks for Reading my review
If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section.