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Fresh cocoa pod cut exposing cocoa seeds, with a cocoa plant in background..jpg

Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you should know about Cocoa Shell Mulch

What is Cocoa Shell Mulch?

Cocoa shell mulch, also called cocoa mulch, cocoa bean mulch, cocoa bean shell mulch, or cocoa bean hull mulch is simply the shell of the cocoa bean, grown on cocoa trees. These shells come off the bean during the roasting process and are separated from the beans by strong air action, thus insuring a dry weed-free product as well as, a sterile product.

Where does Cocoa Shell Mulch come from?

Cocoa beans grow on trees and they are very delicate and sensitive to their environment.   Requiring high rainfall and high  temperatures to grow, as well as rainforest trees to offer shade and protection from too much light and damage caused by wind, they can only flourish in a narrow band of countries between 20 degrees north and south of the equator - countries such as Africa, Asia, Central/South America and Australia.    

Are insects attracted to Cocoa Shell Mulch?

As is true with any natural product, there are instances in which insects take up occupancy in the Cocoa Shell Mulch.   These insects are native to the environment in which the  mulch is placed.  This is not a harmful thing -- the mulch itself is not attracting insects, and remember: insects drive the production of essential seeds, fruits and vegetables via pollination, are necessary decomposers of organic matter and are bio-indicators of healthy streams and soils.  

IF the insects are "bugging" you, a  mix 1 1/4 Tsp of  white dish soap together with a quart of water in a spray bottle and spray on the  infested area.  

Will my dog get sick from eating Cocoa Shell Mulch?

Cocoa Shell Mulch is a natural plant material that contains theobromine and caffeine, just like chocolate. These chemicals are poisonous to dogs, and dogs should NOT eat Cocoa Shell Mulch.  

Does Cocoa Shell Mulch Mold?

In some cases when the weather is very hot and humid, a harmless mold may appear. This also occurs with too much watering. The cocoa shell contains protein which aids in decomposition to produce humus which stimulates beneficial soil bacteria. This is a sign of the protein at work. Letting the mulch dry out or applying a mix of household white vinegar and water will take care of the mold.   75% vinegar and 25% water.   Put in a spray bottle and spray on the mold only.    (The reason the mold grows on cocoa shells is because of the bacteria in the rain and water, not the cocoa shells. The cocoa shells are completely sterile because of the roasting process at 600 degrees.) 

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