Cocoa mulch is usually selected from the highest quality cacao beans, which offers the most nutritional value for your garden and landscape. It undergoes several cleansing processes which are all heat centrifuge based in order to produce quality organic garden mulch, soil conditioner, fertilizer, 100% fat free and 100% moisture free. It is therefore excellent for use in the garden and landscape.
The purification is complete without chemical use; once completed, cocoa mulch is then poured into UVA treated bags and sealed.
The Cocoa Mulch Advantages
Cocoa mulch is 100% organic garden mulch gained from natural resources, for use as ground cover, soil conditioner and fertilizer.
Cocoa mulch is a natural byproduct derived from the cocoa plant, and fully recycles itself back into the garden soil without disturbing the balance of the environment
Unlike fresh bark mulch products, it does not use up nitrogen levels from the ground.
Directly worked into the soil, it helps improve the texture of the soil. Cocoa mulch keeps your soil fertile without you having to work it.
Cocoa mulch is extremely light weight, as well as clean to handle and easy to spread. Its pH is 5.4 and has a fertility of N.P.K. 2-0.2-3.
Furthermore, it enhances the appearance of any border, landscape or garden design.
After watering the cocoa mulch, a natural gum is activated, which binds the shells into a loosely knitted porous mat that holds moisture in the soil, suppresses weed growth and holds in place during normal rain or wind storms.
The texture of cocoa mulch may reduce damage to plants by deterring slugs and snails.
As the cocoa shell mulch decomposes, it contributes valuable nutrients and organic matter to the soil. This addition of organic matter enhances the texture of the soil which, in turn, improves aeration (the ability to hold moisture) and nutrient movement.
Mulching will also encourage the presence of earthworms, which further aerate the soil and release nutrients in the form of “casting”. This may become apparent after extended rain, when you notice patches of white larvae on your cocoa. They will burrow back into the soil when the sun comes out.
Application as a mulch to flower beds and gardens helps control weeds, keep the soil cool and conserve moisture.
Using cocoa mulch in the fall as a surface mulch helps protect tender roots from sudden frosts and damage from freezing or thawing over winter.
Cocoa mulch stimulates increased microbial activity in the soil. Certain bacteria are every bit as important as worms. The result of their work is that organic matter breaks down more rapidly and plant nutrients are made available to your plants sooner.
The Cocoa Mulch Disadvantages
Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman’s Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called "Theobromine".
It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will inevitably ingest this mulch and simply die of food poisoning. Just a word of caution—check what you are using in your gardens and be aware of what your gardeners are using in your gardens.
Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A dog ingesting a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells can develop severe convulsions and die seventeen hours later.
Eaten by a 50-pound dog, about 2 ounces of cocoa bean mulch may cause gastrointestinal upset; about 4.5 ounces, increased heart rate; about 5.3 ounces, seizures; and over 9 ounces, death. (In contrast, a 50-pound dog can eat up to about 7.5 ounces of milk chocolate without gastrointestinal upset and up to about a pound of milk chocolate without increased heart rate.)
Chocolate’s toxicity to animals is directly related to three factors: the type of chocolate, the size of the animal, and the amount of chocolate ingested. Unsweetened baking chocolate presents the greatest danger to pets because it contains the highest amount of theobromine, approximately 390-450 mg. per ounce. White chocolate contains the least.
As a general rule of thumb, one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight can be lethal for dogs and cats, because milk chocolate contains approximately 44-66 mg of theobromine per ounce.
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