Mulch offers many benefits in landscaping, but which type should you choose? With so many varieties, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, so the best place to start is with the application. Some mulch varieties are better for certain uses, as some break down easier, are better for the planet or are more cost-effective. Let’s take a look at the different varieties of mulch and their most common uses.
Shredded bark comes from a variety of sources and is often a byproduct, which makes it eco-friendly. One of the major benefits of shredded bark is the price. With an affordable price tag, you can use shredded bark for numerous home projects. This type of mulch is best suited for sloped landscapes and is preferred by many because it breaks down slowly.
If you want to be extremely green, you can shred fallen leaves and use them as mulch. Not only is this option free, but it’s also ideal for winter mulch. Just be aware that it can break down within a year, so you may end up replacing it sooner than later.
Straw is another option that breaks down rather quickly, but it is suitable for a variety of outdoor landscaping applications. It does, however, have a major drawback. Straw can contain a number of weed seeds, which obviously isn’t what you want in your landscaping.
Compost has many benefits, including that it’s free. First of all, it breaks down quickly and is a great food for your soil. Another benefit is that it is dark in color, which can add a great contrast to colorful flowers. Finally, it’s packed with nutrients thanks to its composition, which means it’s most effective at helping the landscaping grow and stay beautiful.
Wood chips are another great source that can usually be picked up for free from local tree trimmers. If the pH of your soil is too high, wood chips may be the answer. However, you must be careful with wood chips as they might contain poison ivy, which can irritate the skin. Another tip is to avoid walnut wood chips because they can prevent some plants from growing.
These are just a few of the different types of mulch you can choose from. However, with many of these options being free, they’re hard to pass up.