Wow, that title was weak. I should generally feel ashamed of myself. However, if you have a mulch related post title that “Jumps” off the page” feel free to let me know.
Okay, onto the meat of the article. While I try to focus a lot on interior design, landscape design is almost equally important. The same characters apply, but there is a bit more maintenance involved (You probably don’t have to mow your hardwood floors every 8 days). But one of the easy ways to keep your yard looking great with a limited amount of work is to use mulch.
The biggest advantage to mulch is that you don’t have to crawl under your rhododendron every other week to weed. In combination with a weed mat, mulch does a great job of keeping rogue dandelions away from your shrubs. Now I shamelessly encourage mulching, but the question of which type of mulch remains the question.
There are three major types of “mulch” out there, wood, stone and synthetic. The wood is usually made with bits of bark or any tree limb that was shoved into a wood chipper. This is the most popular, not only because it is usually the cheapest, but is also the easiest to install. The wood chips are light weight and easy to move around however you need to. Plus these are the easiest to remove and replace. The major issue is that wood is biodegradable which is great for the environment but need to be replaced every two or four years (Depending on the climate in your area).
If you want to avoid the replacement, stone or rubber/synthetic is the best call. These last considerably longer than wood mulch, and the only thing you have to worry about is fading color. However when the color fades, you want to pull up all the stone/ rubber mulch that was there before. Yes, there is a higher up front cost, but it is fairly minimal compared to replacement cost (I have to redo mine every 2 years in the northeast US.) The other major benefit is that there is a minimal amount of compacting, which allows water to flow to the roots easier.
The biggest questions to ask yourself will be as follows :
Do You mind re-mulching in two or three years?
Do you have the up front costs for stone?
Will you be pulling out or re-doing the bed at some point soon?
How will the color look when it fades? Will you mind having to pull up the old stone/ rubber mulch?
The choice is up to you, but a dark red mulch makes a huge impact and is a great way to add curb appeal to you home.