Turf Doctor Saskatoon Tips on Choosing Planting Bed Mulch
In our latest blog post, we share some tips to consider when choosing planting bed mulch.
Choosing Planting Bed Mulch
Mulch is an important consideration for a planting bed, as is retains moisture, keeps weeds at bay, and prevents rain from washing away your topsoil. However, all mulch is not created equal, and there are factors to consider when choosing your mulch.
When choosing planting bed mulch, there are two traditional choices – bark mulch and rock mulch, and a more modern choice – rubber mulch. We will discuss the pros and cons of each mulch type.
Bark Mulch – Pros and Cons
Bark mulch is sourced from a variety of trees such as cedar, pine, and oak. The bark is shredded to create a natural mulch that is excellent for planting beds.
- Great, natural appearance
- Breaks down over time to feed the soil
- Excellent at retaining moisture
- Inexpensive relative to rock and rubber
- Light and generally easy to work with
- Water retention can cause flooding in beds without proper drainage
- Has to be replaced as it breaks down
- Unsuitable for high traffic areas, or heavy features such as a fountain
Rock Mulch – Pros and Cons
Rock Mulch consists of a mixture of relatively uniform sized rocks that can be laid in planting beds
- Lower costs – although it is more expensive, rock mulch can last for years
- Lower maintenance – does not need to be replaced regularly
- Provides better drainage
- Better for high traffic areas, or heavy features
- Provides no nutrient benefit to soil
- Does not retain water
- Can make the soil alkaline, which impedes the growth of some plants
- Very heavy – more labour-intensive to install
Created from shredding recycled rubber (mostly from tires), rubber mulch is a modern alternative to bark and rock mulches.
- Long lasting and durable
- Does not attract pests and insects to the garden
- Relatively light and easy to work with compared to rock
- Soft and safe – great for high traffic areas and areas where children play
- Similar to rock, no nutrient benefit to plants
- Cannot be tilled into the soil for weeding
- Poor water retention compared to natural mulch
- Does not break down – has to be removed to renew soil
Not Sure What Mulch to Choose? Turf Doctor Can Help!