Gravel vs. Wood Mulch: Which is the right choice for you?
May 16, 2016
With so much information floating around on the internet and the opinions of others, landscaping books and even home improvement TV shows, making the choice of the best mulch for you can be a difficult one.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when making your mulch choices:
Wood (bark) Mulch
For shrub, annuals and perennial planting, usually wood (bark) mulch works best for these plants to thrive.
Wood (bark) mulch is usually made from the bark of hardwood trees (usually hickory trees or oak trees). It is usually shredded finely and when it is first spread, it has an earthy scent.
Bark mulch can also be made from cedar or pine
Usually dark brown in color, bark mulch can be dyed black or red to complement your landscape
The pros of bark mulch are: it’s cheapest to install, decomposes and adds organic matter to your soil, requires less frequent watering as it holds in moisture, eliminates the need for weed barriers or edging, and it contrasts well with surrounding shrubs and landscape
The cons of bark mulch include: requiring replacement every 1 or 2 years, colors fade when the mulch is exposed to direct sunlight,and it attracts insects.
Rock mulch is usually a decorative groundcover made from gravel
Rock mulch gravel pieces range in size from fist size to pea size
Available in a wide variety of colors
Rock mulch usually comes from the mining of the bottom of riverbeds
The pros of rock mulch include: not needing to replace it every couple of years, availability in a very large variety of sizes, colors and shapes, makes leaf blowing much easier than wood mulch,
The cons include: it is necessary to constantly be sure that the area is free of debris from leaves or plants so don’t grow between the weed barrier and the gravel; difficulty in adding or replacing plants once weed barrier and gravel are installed; you must choose plants that can withstand the heat the the gravel and rock absorb in hotter months.
For help in choosing what would work for your home, please contact us. We are here to best direct you in making a decision that will provide a wonderful addition to your home.
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