Rock Mulch vs. Organic Mulch - Knowledgebase Question

Castle Rock, CO
Question by melissa41
May 20, 2001
I am converting a large portion of my yard from lawn to gardens and plan to plant various shrubs and trees in it, as well as a few perennials. Which is better, mulching with rocks or with an organic mulch like bark chips?

Answer from NGA
May 20, 2001


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. You might consider an organic mulch for around the plants, and stone along the paths.

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