The Q&A Archives: rock or mulch

Question: I replace mulch every other year would rock be better and not need as much replacement?

Answer: If it were me, I would go for the mulch. Mulches like shredded bark, pine chips, cocoa hulls, etc. are more benefical to your soil. They decompose over time and that enriches the soil. Replacing or refreshing the mulch usually needs to be done annually, as you have discovered, but the benefits to the soil far outweigh the trouble it takes to spread new organic matter over the area. Rocks are more permanent, especially if you lay weed barrier material down before spreading them in your landscape. Rocks can heat up quite a bit in the summer and make the soil too warm for tender plant roots (which prefer cooler conditions), so you might take that into consideration before replacing your organic mulch with rocks. Best wishes with your landscape~

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