Mulch Types

mulch types, hardwood mulch, recycled mulch, rubber landscape mulch.

Landscape Mulch

Find the many types of organic and inorganic mulches available to the consumer that are beneficial and environmentally friendly.

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One of the best things you can do for your garden and landscape is to spread a layer of mulch over the surface to save you time and energy.

Mulch will help you conserve water, by holding moisture in the soil. It also acts as a great weed barrier.

Also, if you choose one of the organic mulches, the orgainc materials will eventually break down and supply needed nuterients to your soil.

Landscape Mulch is Very Eco-Friendly

Mulch Types - Washed River Rock

Mulch Types - Shredded Bark Mulch

:One of the least expensive and most popular choices in bark is Shredded Bark. Cedar trees are the most common source of this bark, but it can also come from other sources.

As it breaks down rather slowly and holds together very well, it is a very popular choice for sloped areas.

Also you will find that some of the Shredded Bark supplies come as a byproduct from other industries, and they're considered very environmentally friendly. To be sure, check the packaging for information of the source of the product.

Mulch Types - Shredded Leaf Mulch:

If you have a lot of leaves in your yard during the fall, shred them and use them as an over-winter mulch.

Fallen leaves ofter decompose quite quickly, (less than one year), and provide a lot of nuterients to your soil. Be sure you shred your leaves prior to using them as mulch to prevent matting of the leaves..

Mulch Types - Grass Clipping Mulch::

Grass clippings is another great free source of mulch. Be sure to use it in pre-dried, thin layers to keep it from rotting and stinking.

Another great feature of grass mulch is it supplies much needed nitrogen nitrogen to the soil.

Hints For Grass Mulch: If you treat your lawn with anything other than organic fertilizer and weed control, you should aviod its use in vegetable gardens. Also chemicals can bring harm to your landscaping plants.

Interested in more information an grass mulch? Read our article on Grass Recyclying.

Landscape Mulch - Keeps Your Beds Neat & Clean

Landscape Mulch - Keeps Your Beds Neat & Clean

Mulch Types - Straw Mulch:

Straw is another great way to add an organic mulch to your yard. It has a nice golden hue and looks great and breaks down a bit slower than either grass clipping or leaves.

A few cautions however: Make sure you straw is free of weed seeds as you may bring more weed problems into your yard than you are attempting to control.

Mulch Types - Compost Mulch:

Compost is another great source of free mulch if you decided to make your own compost pile. It is dark and really sets of the planting beds nicely and it adds a ton of nuterients to the soil.

Visit our Compost Section on great tips on composting.

Mulch Types - Pine Straw Mulch:

Often used on slopes and for acid loving plants, Pine Needles is another great source of organic mulch. Also due to their nature, they hold in place very well and they break down relatively slowly. Acid loving plants are typially Rhododendrons, blueberries, azaleas and other conifers.


Landscape Mulch - Leaf Mulch

Mulch Types - Shredded Recycled Rubber

Mulch Types - Pine Bark Nuggets Mulch:

The biggest beaf with Pine Bark Nuggets is that they don't stay in place very well, especially during periods of heavy rain, so don't use them on sloped areas.

They are slow to break down and are available in a variety of sizes. Generally the larger the nugget, the longer it will take to break down.

Mulch Types - Wood Chip Mulch::

Wood chips can be another source of free mulch for you . You can either chip you own or get them from local tree trimming compaies.

They are a good weed barrier and decompose rather slowly but if you use fresh chips they can take up a fair amount of nitrogen from your soil and they can contribute acid to your soil as well, changing your soil's PH.

Wood Chips Mulch Hints: Be on the lookout for mulch from Walnut trees this can contain naturally occuring chemicals that inhibit plant growth.

Landscape Mulch - Cocoa Bean Hulls

Landscape Mulch - Cocoa Bean Hulls

Mulch Types - Cocoa Hulls:

If you want one of the richest looking mulches, take a look at Cocoa Hull Mulch.

Along with the deep rich color an texture, you get the delightful choclate fragrance. Some of the features of this mulch is that is lasts a really long time, the color does not face, and it is great from smaller border areas. The biggest drawback is it is quite expensive.

Cautions of This Mulch: is it is posioness if ingested by dogs or cats. Also wet them thoroughly before placement to keep them from blowing away.

Mulch Types - River Rock and Gravel Mulches:

The great thing about the rock materials is that once they are applied, they don't break down over time and never need replacement if installed properly.

Negatives of Rock Mulch: If you change your mind, it takes a lot of work to remove the product. Also, since it does not break down there is no nutritional benefit for the soil. It is also very difficult to divide your perennials with a rock mulch type.

Recycled Rubber Mulch

Landscape Mulch - Recycled Rubber Mulch

Mulch Types - Shredded Rubber Mulch:

As rubber already exists as a natural waste product, it does not require discruction of trees for its manufacture.

This is a great, environmentally friendly alternative to other mulches as it doesn't need replacement, is heavy and stays in place, stays looking great, and keeps its new color.

Additionally, since it does not decay or compact, you can spread it 1.5 inches thick vs. 3" minimum that is required or organic mulches.

Negatively it does not contribute anything to the nutritional value of the soil and it is a bit more difficut to split your perennial plants.

For more on mulching techniques and methods, visit the page Landscape Mulch.