Rochelle Greayer

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Hey There! I’m Rochelle Greayer. I’m a garden designer on TV and IRL. I’m also an author and entrepreneur who thinks she can save the world by teaching everyone a little something about landscape design.

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5/22/2009

Who is using Cocoa Shells?

Yesterday I helped with a garden that was finished with cocoa shell mulch.   I have seen it and even had it used on projects regularly in in England, but here in the greater Boston area, it simply is not that prevalent.  I am on a hunt to buy it locally (I just contacted my favorite chocolate maker that attends my farmers market) or at least source it in large and wholesale quantities.  Anyone have a good contact?

cocoa shell garden mulch

image by littlewinggg

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  1. Sprout

    May 22nd, 2009 at 9:31 am

    My mom used cocoa hulls for decades! Yummm….! And she always got them at the now defunct Spag’s.

  2. michelle d.

    May 22nd, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I don’t use it for a variety of reasons.
    1. It molds.
    2. Dogs are allergic to it and I don’t want to take that chance .

  3. kim

    May 22nd, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I was just thinking about cocoa mulch this morning when I was at Vallente’s Farm in Needham, they have bags of it.

  4. Sheila H

    May 22nd, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    I agree wtih Michelle. It’s toxic to dogs if they swallow it and it’s expensive. I prefer using chocolate (dyed brown) mulch. They last longer if applied at 4 inches thick (3 years).

  5. Fern @ Life on the Balcony

    May 22nd, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    I was going to say the same thing as Michelle. It has the same effect on dogs as chocolate.

  6. Tyson

    May 23rd, 2009 at 1:44 am

    I worked for a retail nursery that did a good business in selling cocoa husks. We had a chemist (who now teaches AP Chemistry at a local high school) who did her research and determined that the husks have 3 x the amount of the chemical found in chocolate that provokes an allergic reaction in dogs. Which means they would have to consume 1/3 the amount found in chocolate to have a fatal reaction. With that in mind, it does smell lovely, and is a great deterrent to cats who have a penchant for relieving themselves in garden beds….they can’t stand putting their paws in the stuff. Also very attractive, but short lived in windy areas. Blommers out of Chicago distributes.

  7. rochelle

    May 23rd, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I don’t have a dog (and no plans to get one) –so I am not going to worry about that at least at my own home….but will make sure I mention it to a friend who is using them who is planning to get a puppy later this summer.
    Also, I read that if you soak them with water when you lay them down, they will then lock together as they dry and prevent the wind blowing effect – also only need to spread about 1″ think- so perhaps you need less of these than regular mulch.

  8. louise garwood

    May 24th, 2009 at 7:34 am

    I have seen them used in many Metrowest Boston residential garden settings. Typically a high end product, advantage only being in the aesthetic, a more refined appearance compared to bark mulch. Usually client has irrigation in beds which moistens them enough to not do the pre-wetting you mention rochelle. And yes an inch or two covers very well. I like the look and smell.
    BTW – came across this: didnt know if you had covered it..Outdoor rugs by Loire Manne
    http://www.lioramanne.com/index.asp?pgid=131
    any info on this product? Looks potentially cool.

  9. louise garwood

    May 24th, 2009 at 7:41 am

    oh-heres the image i meant to attach
    http://www.lioramanne.com/dynamicdata/data/images/emily%20web/installations/rooftop.jpg

  10. Amanda Thomsen

    June 6th, 2009 at 8:50 am

    I will only use chocolate mulch- to find it I emailed these guys http://www.nationalcocoashell.com/index2.php and they told me it was made at the factory down the street. Ahem. Embarrassing. But they can tell you who has it near you.
    I have a dog too, he’s smart enough to not eat mulch. Imagine that.

  11. louise garwood

    June 24th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    hey check this out…buckwheat hull mulch…
    http://www.sevenarrowsfarm.com/nursery/buckwheat%20hulls.html

  12. rochelle

    June 24th, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Louise, I used buckwheat hulls for the first time last week….they were so great to spread…very lightweight and they had a beautiful silky look once installed. Except for the price, I will definitely want to use them again.

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