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PYRENEES QUARRIES PTY. LTD.
Pyrenees Quarries – Your One Stop Stone Suppliers

Primary website at:
 www.pyreneesquarries.com.au

 

STONE MULCH

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PROPERTIES OF  SHALE  MULCH:
Shale is a lightly metamorphosed form of mudstone. 
The light colour helps to reflect light and heat keeping the soil cooler. 
This shale is very micromicaceous (contains thousands of tiny microscopic sized grains of clear muscovite mica) these act like thousands of tiny mirrors in the stone reflecting heat – this keeps the ground cooler. 
Shale is a clay based rock, of a night the clay platelets adsorb some atmospheric moisture, this evaporates during the heat of the day further cooling the stone.  
The shale is composed of flat stone pieces (not rounded as in conventional pebbles) with the flat stone pieces limiting air circulation and hence water evaporation – compare with:  a board or piece of tin left on a lawn overnight; this will be wet underneath next morning whereas a ball left on the lawn overnight will only have a very tiny wet area. 
The shale mulch contains 2-5% silty clay – this washes off readily, bonding together the bottom layer of stone.  This not only adds an additional air circulation barrier on top of the soil, but also acts similar to a wetting agent, allowing water to readily penetrate the soil whilst still permitting the soil to breathe naturally.

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BENEFITS OF SHALE MULCH
Maximum benefit from shale mulch is where low or no garden watering is required, or where a fire risk is present.  Unlike conventional organic mulches, shale and stone do not absorb significant water during rainfall events.  Most rainfall events in summer are either low rainfall (<10mm) and with organic mulches this rain is absorbed into the mulch layer with little or no water becoming available to the plant roots - OR - in heavy thunderstorm events where the rainfall is >10mm occurring in less than an hour – this causes the rain water to sheet off floating conventional organic mulches away (this will only occur in extreme cases with a stone mulch) with the stone “trapping” the water long enough for most to soak in and thus becomes available to the tree roots.  Additionally, stone mulches do not add plant oils and resins to the soil – these oils and resins cause the water the “bead” in the soil and not soak in, whereas the silty clay from the shale acts like a wetting agent increasing waters absorption rates.  Additionally, as organic mulches begin decomposing they become dark coloured, thus absorbing more heat from the sun – with increased soil heat increased water evaporation and water loss from the soil occurs.
Unlike other stone mulches, metamorphic shales and slates are “flat” shaped thus reducing air circulation – hence reduces water evaporation.  As an additional benefit the flat shaped stone pieces improves weed suppression.
 Flat shaped stones are less prone to “roll and scatter” and are more easily maintained than rounded pebbles.
Slate/shale mulches are naturally occurring quarried stones, hence “recycled” chemicals (present in some organic mulches) should not be present.
Stones are less prone to be wind blown, bird scratched, water washed etc than organic mulches.
Unlike organic mulches, stone mulches are not flammable so will not burn.
Using shale mulch the soil temperature remains lower, and with a permanent capping material – this means the plant feeder roots are able to permanently exist closer the soil surface, thus permitting nutrient and moisture capture by the plant from smaller rainfall events.

 

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ADDITONAL TIPS:
Shale mulch can be used on top of conventional mulches.
For low or no water gardening do not over fertilize – use only sufficient compost/fertilizer to maintain slow but healthy growth through the wetter months – excessive growth and foliage causes the plant to require more water to survive (water is lost through the plant leaves and stems) the less foliage the less water required for the plant to remain alive and healthy through the dryer periods.
When watering is required through plant stress, water more deeply but less often.
Do not use dark coloured stones except where additional “heating” of the ground is required.
Use a light coloured micromicaceous clay based stone for increased ground cooling effects (shale, slate or schist are normally best).
Use a stone which is flat shaped to reduce air circulation and hence water loss.
Use a stone which is flat shaped for increased weed suppression.
Consider using stone mulches to reduce fire risk where this may be a problem.
An air blower can be effectively used to remove leaf litter.
Stone mulches do not supply any significant nutrients to the soil, but do supply some natural minerals.
DO NOT use slate or shale for driveways or high traffic pathways as the stone will crush more readily than other harder pebbles.

 OTHER BENEFITS OF STONE MULCH:
1:    Long lasting.
2:    Helps retain soil moisture.
3:    Helps keep soil warm in winter and cool in summer.
4:    Lasting attractive colour.
5:    Low maintenance.
6:    Fire resistant.
7:    Insect and mould resistant.
8:    Little compaction with time.
9:    Easy water penetration.
10:  Not easily wind blown.
11:  Pet and plant friendly.
12:  Lower long term cost than conventional mulches

 

STONE TYPE (SHALE MULCH): 
The shale mulch produced by Pyrenees Quarries is a lightly metamorphosed slaty silty shale, pastel beige pink to beige green coloured, flaky, soft, very micromicaceous.

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OTHER SCREENED/CRUSHED PRODUCTS

SCREENED BLACK SLATE/QUARTZITE
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Crushed black slate mixed with dark grey quartzite.  Screened mesh sizes: 20mm, 40mm.

CRUSHED SANDSTONE
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Crushed biscuit yellow to orange brown coloured sandstone.  Screened sizes, 10mm minus, 20mm, 40mm.

 

SLATE MULCH SIZES:
1:  Fine: shale flakes approximately 10-60 mm in diameter.
2:  Medium:  shale pieces approximately 60-120 mm in diameter.
3:  Large:  shale plates approximately 120-300 mm in diameter.
NOTE:  Sizes may vary with different screenings.

RECOMMENDED USAGE:
Fine shale mulch for pots, planters and small garden beds.
Medium shale mulch for larger garden beds, and over the root areas of shrubs, bushes and trees.
Coarse shale mulch for rock gardens and where a more rustic appearance is required – may be mixed with medium grade as required.
Better water retention if applied over a thin layer of organic mulch.
NOTE:  Product NOT suitable for high traffic areas.

RECOMMENDED APPLICATION RATES:
Fine shale mulch; recommended application depth 30-50mm.
Medium shale mulch; recommended application depth 50-100mm.
Coarse shale mulch; recommended application depth 100mm plus.
Thicker application rates improves moisture retention and weed suppression.

COVERAGE CALCULATIONS:
Calculate the square meters of area to be covered (eg. An area 2 meters long by 3 meters wide is 2x3=6 square meters.  For medium sized shale mulch applied at 50mm thick, this would be a cubic meter volume of 6x0.05= 0.3 of a cubic meter.
OR:  1 cubic meter will cover an area of 40 square meters at 25mm thick.
OR:  1 cubic meter will cover an area of 20 square meters at 50mm thick.
OR:  1 cubic meter will cover an area of 10 square meters at 100mm thick.
A standard full load on a conventional 6ftx4ft trailer is 0.5 or half a cubic meter.
Weight is approximately 1.5 tonne per cubic meter.

PRICE:  *Calculated on a cubic meter basis or part thereof.

 

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"Urban Landscape in the Suburban Jungle"
The Garden Design and labour completed by the owners Ken Johnstone
& Mark De Wacht, who wanted to keep the garden low maintenance with
visual impact & style.  All the Retaining Walls and Decking by Hans Van Den Hengel.

 

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Crushed sandstone.  Here, weeds are kept to a minimum by using the crushed stone, whilst the colour and texture compliments the natural environment..

 

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Here Ian Evans Creative Landscapes have used large Pyrenees stepping stones and crushed Pyrenees black slate/quartzite to border the area paved with Pyrenees pavers at the Bendigo Golden Dragon Museum to create a harmonious landscape. 

 

OTHER NATURAL STONE PRODUCTS:
For all your stone requirements please visit our main website at: www.pyreneesquarries.com.au

CONTACT DETAILS:  PYRENEES QUARRIES PTY. LTD.
YOU CAN FIND US AT:
18 Martin Street,
Castlemaine,
Victoria.  3450

PHONE:  (03) 5470 5288
MOBILE:  0417 035 083
FAX:   (03) 5472 5404 

YOU CAN EMAIL US:           
info@PyreneesQuarries.com.au
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PYRENEES QUARRIES
  At Pyrenees Quarries we have a large selection of local stone products from our own quarries, and supplement this with different stone types from other Australian and overseas quarries.
  We offer retail sales direct from our factory facilities in Castlemaine.

  • Our stone range includes building and terracing sandstone and slate, paving in random form, tiles and flagstones in polished and natural split surface, water feature stones, landscaping boulders and slabs, stone strata and cladding, stone steps (natural and worked), hearth stones, lintels, table tops, granite and marble slabs, lawn edging, cobble stones etc.
  • We also manufacture and fit polished granite, marble or composite bench tops, vanities, table tops etc to your specifications.

  At Pyrenees Quarries we specialize in producing unique products to suit our customer’s wishes. We have experienced stone masons and facilities available to modify, cut, profile, polish, drill or shape stone to your requirements, and have a vast range of stone at our 3 acre site for you to choose from.
  Castlemaine is situated just over one hour driving time from Melbourne CBD.  Should you be contemplating using stone or are just interested in natural stone, we suggest you visit our facilities in Castlemaine

PLEASE VISIT OUR MAIN WEBSITE AT:
www.pyreneesquarries.com.au