8 Inorganic and Organic Types of Mulch

Professional arborists and gardeners said that mulch is not a miracle that will cure all problems in your garden. But, it can be the best solution for your garden. Many types of mulch allow you to improve the conditions of the soil and insulate the soil.

Mulch can insulate your garden soil from temperature extremes, prevent soil compaction, keep weeds away, and lock in moisture. Also, mulch can protect some sensitive plants from damage caused by lawnmowers and weed whackers. Which type is the best one for your garden?

1. Organic Mulch

Organic Mulch

Organic mulch includes softwood and hardwood chips, evergreen needles, bark, grass clippings, leaves, newspaper, cardboard, and compost mixes. Use one of those in your soil and let it improve the fertility, structure, drainage, and aeration of the soil as it decomposes.

2. Straw Mulch

Straw Mulch

Oat, barley, and wheat straw can also be a great solution to improve your garden soil quality. This garden mulch will keep rodents and birds away. Until the straw mulch decomposes, you need to keep the moisture that will help the seeds to germinate better.

3. Cardboard or Newspaper

Cardboard or Newspaper

Shredded newspaper or natural cardboard can help you keep the plants healthy and away from weeds. Apply two layers or three at a time, cover it with heavier organic materials like grass clipping or leaves, and then you will get a nice mulch. The lightweight mulch will stay in place with the heavy material.

4. Types of Mulch: Cocoa Chips

types of mulch

People love this mulch because of its pleasant scent and rich color. Cocoa bean hulls aren’t only easy to handle but are also lightweight and perfect for any planting area. However, you shouldn’t water it excessively or apply it more than an inch. Cocoa chips decompose very quickly.

5. Rock Dust Mulch

Rock Dust Mulch

Pea gravel, marble chips, crusher dust, crushed gravel, and lava rock are inorganic mulch for landscaping that will never break down. They are a famous option for pathways and walks because of the one-time investment of labor and cost. But they are not good in retain moisture.

6. Rubber Mulch

Rubber Mulch

Rubber is another inorganic mulch you can use in your backyard. This mulch is made of pulverized, recycled tires. It is an inexpensive option that is extremely durable. Rubber mulch is perfect for playgrounds or other high-traffic areas. But you shouldn’t use it in the garden since it won’t decompose.

7. Landscape Fabric or Plastic

Landscape Fabric or Plastic

Nutrients and water can’t pass through a plastic polyethylene film because of its impermeability. This quality is ideal to kill the weed. But plastic is actually not perfect for the long term. If you want to use this to warm the soil around the vegetable garden, provide an irrigation system to give moisture.

8. Composted Animal Manure

Composted Animal Manure

Animal manure that has been composted properly is rich in nutrients and will grow your vegetables beautifully. But don’t use pig, cat, and dog manure. You shouldn’t use fresh manure since it can burn your plants.

Organic mulch is the best one for vegetable and fruit gardens. If you’re looking for mulch that will provide an aesthetic look only for your landscaping, inorganic mulch can be the best option. Learn the different types of mulch and their functions so that you can use the right one for your garden.

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