Spring is in full swing which means that if you haven’t already started to mulch your gardens, it’s time! Before you get to mulching however, you first have to decide which type of mulch is best for your gardens, organic or inorganic. To help you decide we broke down the pros and cons of each, but first let’s talk about the differences between the two.

Organic mulch includes shredded bark, bark chips, wood chips, pine needles, hay, leaves, compost and grass clippings, essentially anything you would naturally find in the environment. Inorganic mulch on the other hand can be composed of gravel, black plastic and rubber chips.

The Pros & Cons Of Organic Mulch

Pros: Any organic mulch is better for plants than inorganic mulch. Over time, organic mulches will slowly decompose and release nutrients into the soil and improve its structure. Organic mulches also keep the soil cooler and retain moisture levels more than than inorganic mulches.

Cons: Because organic mulch decomposes, it may need to be replenished more frequently than inorganic mulch.

The Pros And Cons Of Inorganic Mulch

Pros: Inorganic mulch, like stone, doesn’t break down and therefore doesn’t require regular replacement, which can save you time and money.

Cons: If using a stone mulch keep in mind that stone retains the sun’s heat and creates a warmer and drier soil environment, which could be detrimental to plants that do not thrive in this type of situation. However, some plants do thrive in a warmer environment so it’s best to understand the environmental needs of your plants before deciding on the type of mulch you’re going to use. The use of some gravel, like marble chips, will alter the soil’s pH level toward the basic range. This is a problem because most plants like acidic or neutral conditions. Rubber and plastic have harsh chemicals and while beneficial for retaining heat and sunlight, will not improve soil structure or add organic matter.

Mulching Your Vegetable Garden

Your mulch choice will vary depending on the type of crop that you plant. Some vegetables do best in very hot conditions; for these, using black plastic covered by a type of organic mulch chosen for its aesthetics would be appropriate. For vegetables that are better off in cooler conditions, one of the organic mulches alone is an appropriate choice.

Mulching Your Flower Garden

The use of any of the organic mulches is best for flower gardens. Again, if the plants in question are drought- and heat-tolerant, than the use of gravel could also work.

If you’re unsure of what type of mulch would be best for your plants and garden, give us a call and we can give you recommendations and install the mulch for you. Call or click here for quote!