Answer: Organic mulches are superior to inorganic types. Here are pros and cons of various mulch materials:
In spite of being expensive, cypress mulch is a very popular mulching material. Much of its popularity is due to its rich brown color and longevity. Cypress mulch appears to have a high water-holding capacity that may reduce the amount of water reaching the plant root zone. However, once the mulch is thoroughly wet, it buffers the soil against soil-water evaporative losses. When dry, cypress mulch repels water, making it difficult to wet, particularly if it is on a mound or slope.
Pine bark makes a very attractive, usually dark-colored landscape mulch. It can be purchased in various particle sizes, but the large-size particles 1.5 to 3 inches in diameter (called "nuggets" or "chunks)" are more attractive, last longer and are more effective for weed control than finely ground pine bark.
Wood chips are obtained when the bark is removed from large logs. This material contains bark and pieces of wood of various sizes.
Straw can be used as a mulch but it is not attractive, decomposes rapidly, and may contain seed that will germinate and become weeds in the landscape.
Pecan shells make a long lasting, attractive, dark brown mulch. Their availability is usually limited to areas where pecans are processed.
Hope this information helps you choose just the right mulch material for your landscape.
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