The Pros And Cons Of Common Landscape Mulches


Mulch is one of the best things you can do for your flower garden. When mulch is properly used it will help to prevent weeds from growing and retain moisture in the soil in the flower beds. Unfortunately, it isn't as easy as calling local landscape services to have them mulch your landscaping. When ordering landscape mulch you will need to know which type you want. There are several types of landscaping mulch, each with its own pros and cons, but one of primary difference between them is whether they are organic or inorganic. Inorganic mulches, such as gravel, plastic and shredded rubber do not decompose, so they don't get absorbed into the soil. Organic mulches, such as straw, bark or hardwood break down over time, adding nutrients to the soil. Here are the pros and cons of some of the most common types of organic and inorganic mulch.

Grass clippings

 This type of mulch is thought to be organic mulch. It should be used after being dried, then spread in thin layers to prevent rotting.


  • Grass clippings are free because they come from your lawn
  • Supplies compulsory nitrogen nutrients to the soil


It is often difficult to separate the grass from the weeds, which may include weed growth in your garden

Shredded Hardwood or Bark

Shredded hardwood or bark mulch is organic mulch that is made from pure tree bark; it is not ground up wood.


Hardwood or bark mulch contains a significant amount of nutrients, so as it decomposes, it helps to improve the soil.


Wood chips may wash away

Straw Mulch

Straw is organic mulch that has become increasingly more popular for a number of reasons, including being a low cost, decomposing mulch.


  • Good insulation for a winter vegetable garden
  • Suppresses weeds
  • Inexpensive


  • Unattractive
  • Flammable
  • Decomposes quickly
  • May contain weeds

Gravel, Rock, Stone and Lava Rock

Rock materials do not break down. However, if rock or gravel mulch is installed properly it may never need to be replaced.


  • Available in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes
  • Will not decompose
  • Doesn't typically blow away


  • Difficult to remove
  • Difficult to keep clean
  • Draws heat, so may harm plants
  • Fabric or plastic must be used under the rocks to prevent them from sinking into the soil and to limit weed growth

Shredded Rubber

Although shredded rubber is inorganic mulch, the benefit of using it is that you will be preventing the materials used in making the mulch from ending up in a landfill.


  • Available in a wide range of colors
  • Does not typically blow away
  • Doesn't decompose


  • Often difficult to remove
  • Typically flammable

When choosing the mulch for your landscaping, it is best to talk with local landscape services to help determine if the type you are interested in is appropriate for the area you want to install it. For example, if you want attractive mulch for a flower bed in front of a business, gravel may be the most appropriate because it is low maintenance, while hardwood or bark mulch is typically more suitable for residential landscaping. For more information, contact companies like Wilson Garden Center & Landscaping.


10 May 2017

Beautiful Landscaping Can Transform the Look of Any Home

When my husband and I bought our house years ago, we thought it would be our "starter" home and we would move in a few years. We soon had two children, and we then decided against moving since we live in a great school district and we love our neighbors. However, I was growing very tired of the appearance of our home. We painted it a different color, and it still seemed like the "same old house" that we were tired of. We finally deciding that maybe good landscaping would "do the trick" and make our home more enjoyable to use again. We were right, and I now love our home! I now love spending time in our yard and just enjoying the scenery. I have such a passion for landscaping now I decided to create a blog about it. I plan to share many landscaping tips, so come back!