Organic Mulch vs. Inorganic Mulch
For those who want a way to make your gardening more manageable, you should consider adding mulch to your outdoor spaces. Mulch is a great way to improve the look and health of your yard and gardens. These materials can help to produce healthier plants and flowers with less maintenance on your part. There are usually two types of materials used for mulches: inorganic and organic products. If you are wondering about the type of mulch to use in your yard, here are a few things that you will want to consider.
What Are Mulches?
Mulches can be made of organic or inorganic materials. These mulches have many benefits, including moisture retention, soil insulation, erosion control, weed reduction, and beautification. For those who want to reduce weeds in your yard, mulch will work to minimize the sunlight to these harmful plants. Once sunlight is limited, the weeds do not have a chance to grow. Weeds compete for water and nutrients with your plants. These weeds can even stunt the growth of trees. By reducing them, you can have a healthier garden and yard. However, different mulches offer different benefits to your yard.
Organic mulches are made from by-products of other industries, and these materials will decompose, such as grass clippings, straw, bark chips, compost, sawdust, and rice hulls. These materials are anything that you can find in a natural setting. On the other hand, inorganic mulches are made from man-made materials, including rocks, rubber chips, or plastic sheeting. While these materials are the opposite of each other, they are both used for aesthetic reasons and have their advantages.
Benefits of Organic Mulches
Organic mulches are known to deliver more benefits than inorganic mulches. These mulches consist of materials that would have been discarded. When these materials break down, they can provide nourishment into the soil. With an inorganic material, those mulches can look nice, but as they age, they will break down into non-recyclable pieces.
Those organic mulches will help nutrients reach down to the plant’s roots, and they can nurture beneficial worms, insects, and bacteria. These organisms control pests and harmful bacteria. Organic mulch provides insulation and keeps the soil cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. These materials reduce erosion by absorbing rainwater and soil-borne diseases that can form by the splashing rain. Organic mulch is known to eliminate soil crusting, which is a condition that can make it difficult for rain to penetrate the ground.
Roots develop better when planted in organic mulches. In addition to that, you can purchase organic mulches at a lower cost than inorganic materials. While there are many benefits, there are some drawbacks to these materials. For example, since the materials are organic, they can create a habitable environment for pests near the base of trees or plants.
Inorganic Mulch Benefits
These mulches are made from materials that do not quickly decompose in your garden. These mulches are used for different purposes than organic mulches. You can use stone, landscape fabric, plastic film, or shredded rubber as an inorganic mulch. Inorganic mulches are not appropriate for all yards, and they tend to be more costly than organic products. Depending on the material, these mulches can be hard to install.
However, like organic mulches, there are many benefits to these materials. If you want to create a barrier for weeds, you should add inorganic mulches to your yard. While they do not add any nutritional benefits, inorganic mulches have a lower need for replacement and help retain moisture. These materials are also highly versatile and can be found in many commercial garden centers.
Choose the Right Mulch for Your Yard
When choosing the right mulch for your space, you need to see which one will align with your landscaping goals. Organic mulches will provide your yard with nutrient-rich soil that can help your trees and plants thrive. Inorganic mulches will last longer and help with preventing weeds from taking up residence in your yard. Organic mulches do provide more benefits with natural materials. Inorganic mulches are man-made but not considered harmful to your yard. Before you decide on your mulch, you should consider your maintenance goals, yard health, and aesthetics of your outdoor space. Once you have done that, you can decide which one will work best for you.
Select the Right Materials
With any choice, you want to know about the source of your mulch. You should choose a material that is free from contaminants or pesticides. Fine materials, like sawdust or clippings, can stick together and prevent water from penetrating the ground. Depending on your mulch, you need to make sure that all the mulch is free from weeds. Since organic mulches are natural materials, they are known to attract bugs, such as pill bugs and earwigs. With inorganic mulches, you want to choose materials that will not pose a safety risk in your yard.
When to Apply Mulch?
Whether you choose organic or inorganic mulch, you want to apply these materials at the start of the growing season. Many people choose to use mulch in the late spring or fall so that the soil can still retain moisture. However, you should know that mulches, especially organic materials, will settle down into the ground. If you are applying these materials for the first time, you need to add more layers throughout the season. With a new layer of mulch, you can ensure that your yard will have continuous weed control as you create an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Regular mulching will help your yard to reduce water usage with fewer weeds in your garden.
Charlestown Landscaping can give you a few ideas for your outdoor space if you still cannot decide on the right mulch for your yard. Our team can help you select the best materials for your garden. We will let you know which ones will work best for your landscaping needs. To schedule a consultation for your space, please take a few minutes to fill out the contact form.