Learn about different types of mulch you could add to your garden and suggestions for when to use each one.
We all know mulch is beneficial for our gardens.
From controlling and preventing weeds to retaining soil moisture, mulch material is crucial to the general maintenance of your garden.
However, with all the various types of mulch available how do you know which one is best for your needs?
Read on to learn which type of mulch material you should choose for your landscaping needs
In "Types of Mulch" - DIY Garden Minute Ep. 75 - we want to teach you about the various uses for different types of mulch material you could add to your garden.
This episode is meant for any level of gardener who is ready to apply mulch but not sure which type to use.
Types of Mulch
Mulch can come from natural or synthetic sources.
The variety of mulch options available come in different colors, shapes, sizes, and textures. It depends on your preferences and the needs of your garden.
Below are 7 mulch material types and a breakdown of when you might use each one in your garden.
1) Arborist Mulch
This type of mulch is great for weed control and suppression. Plus it adds nutrients and helps build healthy soil.
We use this type of mulch all over our yard.
Compost is good for adding nutrients and building healthy soil, along with retaining soil moisture.
3) Rock or Stone Mulch
Good for weed suppression and soil moisture retention, rock mulch is mainly used for contrasting landscape material and for its low maintenance needs.
4) Leaf Mulch
Good for weed suppression and adding nutrients to the soil. Leaf mulch can be difficult to keep in place when windy, though.
5) Pine Needle Mulch
Pine needle mulch is great for weed control and suppression, soil moisture retention, and for acidifying soil or lowering soil pH as they break down.
6) Shell Mulch
Good for color and texture contrast in most landscapes, crushed shells used as mulch are low maintenance and can slowly raise soil pH or make soils more alkaline as they break down.
7) Beauty Bark
Beauty bark is good for weed suppression and retaining soil moisture, but overall it adds little to no nutrients to the soil.
Importance of Mulching
All types of mulch are important. The mulch material you choose depends on what type of garden you have, or for what purpose.
Mulch can either match the colors and textures of your plants or be in complete contrast to give your garden the exact look you want.
In addition, most mulch material:
- Suppresses weeds
- Helps retain soil moisture
- Reduces erosion
- Keeps plant roots cool in the summer and insulated in the winter
- Adds to the overall aesthetic of your garden
For more information about mulching in general, check out "How to Mulch: 6 Basic Steps for Mulching Anytime of Year".
Below are a couple of videos that might be useful for you.
Successful mulching takes proper skill and the right tools.
In addition, we've found a couple of very useful books we wanted to bring to your attention.
Our recommendations below are products and brands that we've used for years and could not live without while spreading mulch all over our front and back yard.
We hope these will be helpful for you too.
This tool is imperative for moving all kinds of material.
We prefer this one by Fiskars because of its long handle and strong design.
The perfect tool for spreading mulch, rock, or soil around your yard.
We use this rake almost every day!
You will need a good pitchfork to move material around, especially mulch material.
This one has been a big help in our yard.
A sturdy tarp is a must-have for keeping unused material contained or for dragging material around.
In fact, there are so many times we were fortunate to have a good tarp around. We find ourselves using it all the time.
With this True Temper wheelbarrow, you can haul up to 6 cu. ft. of material all around your yard!
We recently used this wheelbarrow non-stop for a big home project moving soil and crushed gravel around our yard.
This type of fan rake is invaluable for home landscape projects.
We use it all the time, and not just for raking leaves (although it is great for that too!)
These two books below are helpful resources to find out more about each type of mulch and what could work best for your yard.
- Gaia's Garden: A guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition by Toby Hemenway
Mulching Types Conclusion
Different types of gardens may have different mulch needs but it all comes down to your personal preference.
Think about the reasons we suggested above to make your decision. Good luck!
Now we want to hear from you!
What type of mulch material do you want to use?
Let us know by leaving a quick comment below. Thanks!
That's all for this DIY garden minute episode!
You can find other one-minute topics on our podcast page at spokengarden.com/podcast
Find us on your favorite podcast platform and Alexa through MyPod or AnyPod!
- "Integrated Weed Control Project" -WSU Extension Services
- "Biological Control Program" - USDA
- "Biological Control"- Weed Science Society of America
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Learn about 7 types of mulch you could use in your garden and when to use each one.
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Types of Mulch
Learn about 7 types of mulch that can help promote healthy gardens, suppress weeds, and retail soil moisture.
What You'll Learn:
- 7 different types of mulch material.
- Reasons why you would choose one type of mulch over another and when to best use each one.
- General mulching tips and tricks.
- Mulching tool recommendations and resources.
Some of the resources and products below may be affiliate links, meaning we might get paid a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.
- Pine Needle Mulch Benefits - DIY Garden Minute Ep. 62
- How to Accurately Calculate the Amount of Garden Materials You Need - DIY Garden Minute Ep. 70
- Mulch Basics Explained! - DIY Garden Minute Ep. 7
- Top 7 Reasons Mulching Your Garden is Beneficial
- Understanding Basic Plant Growth - DIY Garden Minute Ep. 30
Other Gardening Products Related To This Podcast You Might Not Have:
- Mulch It! The Book
- Best pruning shears
- Hand saw: folding or fixed
- Blower: hand-held or backpack, gas or electric
- Leaf Rake: metal or plastic
- Hard Rake: metal