An Excellent Insulator
Are Gardening Stones Better?
Mulches tend to be a lot cheaper while providing the same benefits. In some cases, you can just make your own mulch using some of the clippings and compostable materials from your yard.
Your final decision here is an aesthetic one. Gardening stones are a commitment, so if you end up disliking their look and effectiveness, you now have a lot of stone to contend with. Though you need to redistribute your mulch every season, you have more flexibility in how you can use it in your garden.
The Different Types of Mulch
- What purpose does it need to serve?
- How do I want my garden to look?
- Hardwood: Hardwood can be chipped or shredded to create different textures, and it can be dyed for a more consistent look. Hardwood chips tend to float, so they’re more likely to shift in windy and rainy conditions. If it’s a particularly rainy season, go with shredded mulch over chips that can more easily wash away.
- Bark Mulch: Pine Bark is ground finely for use in potting soils and coarsely for use as a mulch. Like with chipped Hardwood mulch, it can wash away more easily than shredded Hardwood mulch.
- Compost: A nutrient-rich layer of compost helps tremendously with plant growth. However, in order to stifle sunlight and halt weeds similar to some of the other mulches we’ve listed, you will need to apply between two to four inches of compost to do the job. Shredded leaf litter and grass clippings are an excellent source of composting material that can be used as mulch.
- Straw: This is an easy and affordable solution for mulching. If you’re the kind of gardener that likes to change things up, straw makes for a beautiful look in the fall. But be aware that straw sometimes carries its own seeds, which can cause an increase in the number of weeds in your garden. That may or may not be a dealbreaker for you, and if it is, opt for a different type of mulch.