mulch vs landscape rock
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Mulch vs. Decorative Rock: Which Is Better for Your Northwest Metro Landscape?

Gardens, trees, and bushes add color and natural beauty to any yard. They anchor the soil, attract birds, and increase curb appeal. Once you decide what trees, flowers, and shrubbery to plant for your latest landscaping project, don’t forget to take care of the soil beneath them.

Ground Covering

Many homeowners use a soil covering to add color and give their landscaping a uniform appearance. The most popular soil coverings for home landscaping are mulch and decorative rock. Each one affects the soil and the plants in different ways.

Before buying mulch or decorative rock for your landscaping project, weigh the pros and cons, so down below are the most influential factors in deciding whether to use mulch or decorative rock to cover your soil.

Benefits of Mulch

  • Cost-effective for the initial install
  • Great for plants to help retain moisture in the soil down beneath
  • Easy to apply and replace
  • Wide variety of vibrant and dark colors

Mulch is lighter and easier to work with than decorative rock. As a result, it lets you experiment with different colors and landscape design options.

Drawbacks of Mulch

Dyed mulch loses its color over time and it decomposes, meaning you will have to reapply mulch at least once every two years to maximize curb appeal and overall aesthetics.

Benefits of Decorative Rock

  • Long-lasting
  • Little to no maintenance
  • Many colors, shapes and sizes to choose from
  • Shrub pruning, grass clipping, and leaf removal is much easier than mulch

Decorative rock is sturdy, low-maintenance, and will last for decades. You won’t have to worry about decorative rock washing away in a storm or decomposing. Also, the heavier weight of decorative rock that’s at least 3/4″ in size makes debris removal a very easy process with a leaf blower.

Drawbacks of Decorative Rock

Decorative rock is heavier and more expensive than mulch. If you choose a particular style or color of decorative rock, particularly for a large landscaping project, the new installation is very labor-intensive as is the removal and replacement process if you ever want to change the appearance.

Prior to hauling in rock, poly under-layment is installed in the landscape beds to prevent weeds from sprouting up and water from washing away the soil beneath. So if you have decorative rock where your plants will be located, or surrounding the base of your trees, you will have to water them more often.

Choosing Between Decorative Rock and Mulch for Your Landscaping

The choice between decorative rock and mulch is often a tough one to make for most homeowners and business property managers. If you prefer your ground covering to feature a bright color such as red or orange, or even a dark brown appearance – mulch will be your best bet. If you want a one-and-done application – rock is your go-to choice.

Regardless of your choice, Northwood Outdoor Services can help design and install the ideal landscape for your home or business. Contact us today for top-rated service in the northwest and west metro of the Twin Cities.

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