Mulch is one of the most common landscaping materials used in garden beds to hold onto water and prevent weed growth around important plants. While shredded wood and wood chips tend to be the most common types of mulch used for landscaping projects, there are a number of mulch alternatives available on the market that possess distinctive material qualities that can be beneficial to your garden. Understanding the different available mulch alternatives can help you choose the best one to fulfill your landscaping needs.
Rock mulch is the most common alternative used in flowerbeds and gardens over traditional wood mulches. The main draw of using rocks and pebbles as a mulch in your garden is the fact that you will not have to reapply your mulch every year, which will reduce your long-term maintenance costs. Further, rocks can hold onto more heat than traditional wooden mulches can, which can help promote growth in plants that thrive in warmer climates. However, rock mulch does come with a downside: it will not break down over time and release nutrients in the form of compost back into the soil as mulch made out of wood does.
Rubber mulch is made out of recycled rubber, which makes it an extremely sustainable option for your landscaping project. Like rock mulch, rubber mulch has an extremely long lifespan and won't need to be regularly reapplied to continue to work. Because rubber will not absorb any water, your plants will benefit from the maximum amount of moisture possible. Rubber also acts as a much better insulator than either wood or rock mulch, which can help protect your plants against sudden temperature fluctuations. However, rubber mulch does come with the drawback that it will leach small amounts of chemicals into the soil, which over time can cause damage to more sensitive plants.
Leaves and Grass Clippings
Leaves and grass clippings make a good mixture of mulch that you can actually make yourself by simply running a lawnmower with a mulch bag attached over a big pile of raked up organic debris in your yard. You'll want to take that bag and leave it out in the sun so that it dries up before you apply it to your flowerbeds, but it is a cheap and easy option that is sustainable. However, you will have to continually reapply mulch made out of leaves and grass clippings, as it does decompose over time. In addition, you will require a huge amount of leaves and grass to cover even a moderate amount of flowerbed space, which means that you may not be able to use this type of mulch for your entire garden.
For more tips, talk with a company like Powers Landscape & Irrigation today.