The Benefits of Organic Mulch

herbaceous border with wood chip mulch and plants

Mulching is an important step when it comes to your landscaping. However, before you stock up on  piles and piles of mulch you should consider what type of mulch is best for your gardens: organic or inorganic mulch.


To give you some basic information, organic mulch is comprised of things like shredded bark, bark chips, wood chips, pine needles, hay, leaves, compost and grass clippings, essentially anything you would naturally find in the environment. Alternatively, inorganic mulch can be composed of gravel, black plastic and rubber chips.


The Benefits of Organic Mulch

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. However because organic mulch decomposes, it may need to be replenished more frequently than inorganic mulch.


The Drawbacks of Inorganic Mulch

Inorganic mulch, like stone, doesn’t break down and therefore doesn’t require regular replacement, which can save you time and money. However, inorganic mulches like rubber and plastics contain harsh chemicals and will not improve soil structure or add organic matter.

Also if you’re 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.


Which mulch should be used in a 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.


Which mulch should be used in a 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.
Still unsure of which mulch is best for your home? Give us a call. A Organic Nature Lawn Care, we’re happy to provide landscaping advice and installations that best suit your needs and your budget. Contact us today to learn more!