Decorative ROCKS VS. MULCH– Landscaping Pros & Cons
There are many benefits to using mulch in garden beds and then there are times when decorative stone may be best. To know which one is best for your needs and garden goals, we’ve put together the landscaping pros and cons of decorative rocks vs mulch.
Bark mulch comes from organic material from other trees including cedar, oak, pine, douglas fir, spruce and more. Mulch can be dyed various colours allowing you to choose your preferred shade. Plus, it’s easy to add to your garden beds and for an instant polished and well-manicured look. Here is a more detailed look at the advantages and disadvantages of mulch in your landscaping design:
- Mulch can reduce the growth of weeds and does not require any additional weed barrier.
- Allows soil to retain water so you can water your garden beds less frequently and mulch prevents soil erosion
- As the organic material of mulch breaks down, nutrients go back into the soil and plants.
- Keeps the roots of your plants warm and insulated in the winter and keeps them cool in summer.
- Mulch can improve growth of plants and trees due to the additional layer of protection and nutrients in the soil.
- Mulch has more recurring maintenance as it will decompose and require replacing every year or two.
- Replacement of mulch in garden beds leads to an increase in costs.
- Mulching too late in the season may allow time for weeds to grow.
- You’ll want to be careful not to over mulch as it can cause plants more harm than good.
Decorative stones come in a variety of shapes, colours, and textures allowing you to customize your landscaping just the way you want. It can look more impressive and be a beautiful background for pops of green throughout your garden. Let’s look at the pros and cons of decorative rocks:
- Decorative rocks are low maintenance and last longer than mulch.
- While decorative stones may be a larger initial investment, they are less expensive in the long run due to their longevity.
- In dryer climates, stones are preferred as they are non-flammable.
- With so many beautiful options in size & colour, stones allow for more customization to create a unique landscape design.
- Rocks can prevent the growth of weeds.
- Stones are perfect for high-traffic spaces where people may be walking like the side of the home.
- Rocks require a fabric weed barrier underneath to discourage weeds from growing up through the rocks.
- The temperature of the soil cannot be easily regulated under stones causing plants to overheat.
- Falling leaves and debris can get between the stones and have to be removed manually or carefully with proper tools.
- Rocks require a raised edge to keep rocks from shifting.
- Decorative stone does not contribute to the health of plants or soil and can actually create a more alkaline soil which is not good for some trees.
If you’re still not sure which landscaping materials are best for your project, contact Rockland and our staff would be happy to help!
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