A New Approach
When people think of mulch they generally think of the organic materials such as the wood chips, etc. Most do not think that a stone mulch would give many benefits. If you are tired of replacing that worn out old mulch, then take your landscaping to the next level with hassle-free home improvements such as stone mulching!
Gravel vs. Organic Mulch
For the question of which is better, mulching with rocks or with an organic mulch like bark chips, let’s compare mulch vs stone. Both will help maintain soil moisture, reduce soil temperature and reduce weeds. However, organic mulch breaks down over time and releases nutrients into the soil, while rock mulch does nothing to improve the soil, but has other benefits. You might consider an organic mulch for around the plants, and stone along the paths, or you may want to evaluate your lifestyle and determine which is best for you and your property.
So, let’s take a look at what the benefits of a stone mulch are, and how those benefits compare to a more traditional organic mulch.
One of the biggest benefits of a stone mulch is the longevity. You do not have to replace it like you do with organic mulch. Stone offers the benefit of lasting color with one application. Unlike wood chips mulching, stone mulching keeps its color and it really lasts. It also provides low maintenance which is a huge plus because who wants to spend all of their free time maintaining their mulch? No one, thus the benefit of stone mulch, you get the look of lasting color with no or low maintenance.
The next big benefit that stone mulch has over your typical organic mulch is that it is very affordable. Upfront it may not seem as affordable, but compared to the repetitive replacement cost of organic mulch it is much more affordable for the average person.
Something many people really like about stone is that there are several vibrant colors to choose from, and there are even companies that can customize a color just for you.
Another big benefit that stone has over mulch is that it offers a permanent solution to the mulch dilemma. Mulching must be done every year and often times must be done several times a year. Stone does not require nearly as much work, and is a permanent solution.
Plant and Pet Friendly
A benefit not often considered, but that is important is that stone is both pet and plant friendly. Mulch is also friendly to plants and pets, but many people think that stone will not be good for animals and plants, but it will not hurt the plants, and is fine for pets as well.
One of the problems with mulch is that it often attracts insects, molds, and can be a problem if there is a fire. Stone on the other hand does not attract insects, does not promote or sustain mold growth, and is fire resistant, so it won’t be a fire hazard for your family.
Another benefit that stone offers over mulch is that there is no compaction–thus, water flows thru easily. This is great for your soil, and for your plants.
Unlike some of the organic mulches, or other mulches that are used commonly in landscaping and gardens, stone remains in place against wind & rain. This adds to the low maintenance factor of stone vs mulch.
Stone is a great thing to have, and because it does not cost a lot to maintain and because it has so much value, it will increase the value of your home or business.
Dogs and lawn grass don’t mix well. For small areas, consider switching from a grassy expanse to hardscape. The advantages of hardscape go beyond solutions to landscaping with dogs, since hardscape offers a low-maintenance alternative to grass that obviates lawn care.
Stone and masonry are especially useful for landscaping with dogs, because they minimize the mess dogs make through urination (dog spots), digging and plain old wear and tear. Make liberal use of crushed-stone mulch. If you grow plants in such mulch in a sunny area, select drought-tolerant plants, since stone gets hot in the summer. Don’t place the stone mulch directly up against the plants.
Mulch is a covering placed around plants (or covering the ground in lieu of plants), to prevent the growth of weeds. If placed around plants, a mulch provides additional benefits, including the diminution of erosion and water loss, and the regulation of soil temperature. In addition, upon decomposition (for organic mulches), mulches serve as soil amendments. Mulch selection is usually based on appearance, as well as on all the practical considerations mentioned above.