Mulch is an essential element of any healthy yard. Not only can it improve the appearance of your gardens and flower beds, but mulch also offers a range of benefits for plants. From reducing weed growth to providing nutrients to increasing moisture retention, the pros of using mulch cannot be understated.
There are actually many different types of mulch. To keep your plants happy and your yard looking beautiful, it is important to familiarize yourself with the available varieties of mulch and understand which type of mulch will harmonize with your garden.
Organic Mulch vs. Inorganic Mulch
There are both organic and inorganic mulches available. Each type of mulch offers different benefits.
Organic mulches are made of natural materials. For this reason, organic mulches provide essential nutrients to your plants. A potential downside of using organic mulches is the need for constant replacement due to decomposition.
Inorganic mulch can be made from a variety of man-made materials; different types of rocks are also considered as inorganic mulch, because they do not decompose like organic mulch does. This can be an advantage for people who do not want to frequently replace organic mulch.
At Purple Care, we generally prefer organic mulches and utilize them in our landscaping work. We can give you more information about our mulch choices and help you decide on the right type of mulch for your needs.
Types of Organic Mulch
Many different types of plants and other natural materials can be used as organic mulch. Even some repurposed natural materials, such as paper, can be used as organic mulch because they will decompose and provide nutrients to plants.
Organic mulch types that may work for your yard include:
- Wood chips: One of the most popular mulch options, wood chips help to retain moisture and minimize weeds.
- Paper mulch: Paper mulch or cardboard can help to control weeds but may work best if combined with another type of organic mulch. When using paper mulch, you should steer clear of pages with heavy dyes, treatments, or other chemicals that may harm your plants.
- Manure: Animal manure can be a great way to nourish your plants, but you should be wary of certain types, as it may carry disease or provide too many nutrients that actually overwhelm your plants.
- Grass, leaves, or straw: Lawn clippings are a useful type of mulch that can help your plants thrive. However, you should avoid materials from your yard that have been treated with pesticides or other substances.
Types of Inorganic Mulch
Since inorganic mulch does not decompose, it does not need to be replaced frequently. Inorganic mulches can also help homeowners achieve a certain look in their yard.
The most popular types of inorganic mulch include:
- Rock mulch: Rocks can be utilized as a type of inorganic mulch. Using rocks in your flower beds can enhance the appearance of your garden and can keep plants warm in the cooler months.
- Plastic mulch: Plastic mulch generally is applied in the form of a plastic sheet, rather than as small particles like other mulches. Plastic mulch can help keep cool air away from plants and limit weed growth.
- Rubber mulch: While rubber mulch is a common choice to add to playgrounds or walkways, it is not the best choice for your garden.
Are you still unsure about which type of mulch you should use? Our landscaping experts can provide advice for maintaining your yard and help you keep your property looking its best.