Does it matter which landscaping method you choose between rock and mulch for your lawn? Or does it depend on the benefits the method has for your plants? Rock and mulch are excellent options for your landscaping needs, but which one is better?
They both stabilize the soil and help prevent soil erosion. They also conserve water and control weed growth. Generally, it will be time and money-saving no matter which one you choose as your garden landscape.
This article will help you understand rock vs. mulch, and which one is better to suit your needs.
Is It Better to Use Rock or Mulch in Your Landscaping?
Both rock and mulch provide your garden with an eye-catching appearance and choosing one will depend on your garden needs. Before deciding what’s better for your lawn, let’s first understand the difference between rock and mulch landscaping.
Rock landscaping is a method that uses rocks or gravel to create a unique look or feel in a garden, park, or other outdoor space.
You can use this landscaping method to add beauty, interest, and texture to your lawn and make it more functional and sustainable.
Landscaping rocks come in different sizes, shapes, colors, and textures.
Mulch landscaping is a gardening technique that uses organic materials to cover the soil around your home and plants.
Mulch is an easy way to improve the appearance of your garden and improve the health of your plants.
You can use different materials in mulch landscaping, such as compost, bark chips, leaves, and straw.
When deciding between rock and mulch, consider how your plants will benefit from your choice. So, instead of focusing on what will make your garden look artificially attractive, think of the quality of your plants. But, again, it’s best to do deep research and understand your garden needs.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Mulch vs. Rock?
Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and this will significantly help you decide which is better to use for your home.
Pros and Cons of Using Rock Landscaping
Using rocks as your landscaping material is ideal for creating a modern touch to your garden.
- Perfect for preventing erosion: Since the rock is heavier, it prevents soil erosion in case of heavy wind or rain.
- Effective for weed control: Rocks suffocate weeds better and for longer than mulch.
- Lower long-term costs: The initial price of stones is high, but in the long run, it becomes less expensive because of their minimum maintenance nature. Also, it can take a long time before you need to replace rocks compared to mulch.
- Aesthetically pleasing appearance: rocks come in different colors, sizes, and textures. This provides design options that create an improved appearance based on your taste.
- It’s easy to maintain: foot traffic, pets, or anything that may pass over the rocks does not affect them. It also keeps its appearance no matter the weather condition. Cleaning a rock garden is easy.
- Adds nothing to the soil: Stones don’t break down, so they don’t add nutrients to the soil compared to mulch.
- They can get really hot: Rocks retain a lot of heat, especially during summer, which increases the soil temperature, which can be unsuitable for some plants.
- Increases PH levels: Rocks cause an elevation of PH in your soil; thus, high alkaline reduces nutrient levels which can destroy your plants.
- Difficult to move: If you change your mind and want to switch up your landscaping, rocks are heavy and a pain to move.
Pros and Cons of Using Mulch Landscaping
Using mulch for landscaping is an excellent option since the plants will benefit directly from increasing nutrients from a natural source.
- Higher growth rate: Mulch attracts microorganisms whose by-products help increase the soil texture, and together with the added nutrients, they boost the plant’s growth rate.
- Great for garden enthusiasts: After the mulch has decomposed, its effectiveness decreases and needs to be replaced. This goes well if you dedicate a lot of time to your garden.
- Has an affordable upfront cost: The initial cost of organic mulch is low, which is excellent if you are on a tight budget.
- Perfect for summer: Organic mulch helps with moisture and temperature control. It can act as a coolant during hot weather.
- Increases nutrients to the soil: Organic mulch breaks down and decomposes over time. This increases nutrients in the soil, making it fertile without chemicals.
- Needs periodic replacement: Mulch needs to be replaced periodically because of its decomposing nature. If you choose a colored option, that will eventually fade. Unfortunately, this doesn’t go well for people who have little time on their hands.
- Too much mulch is not good: Too much mulch can suffocate plant roots and lead to diseases due to excess heat. This can kill the plants.
- Expensive in the long run: Although its initial cost is low, the periodic replacement makes mulch landscaping expensive.
Do Mulch and Rocks Work with Plants in Your Landscaping?
If applied correctly, mulch and rock landscaping have positive effects on plants. They provide a conducive environment for plants to thrive by creating healthy soil. They help in:
- Weed control
- Moisture control
- Removes effects of chemicals such as pesticides
- Pest control
- Improves soil aeration, among others
What Is the Cost of Using Rock vs. Mulch?
Rock is more expensive than mulch, and its cost depends on the type and size of the rocks. You can spend $20 to $100 per cubic yard for rock landscaping. The total cost for installation can range from $200 to $700, depending on your yard and landscaping provider.
Depending on the type of mulch, you can use an average of $0.35 per square foot (ranging from $0.20 – $0.60). The total cost for a three-inch layer of mulch ranges between $100 and $300 depending on the cost of the mulch and the size of your space.
Other Landscaping Care
Pressure Washing: While you are setting up the landscaping around your home and gardens, it’s also the perfect time to clean the exterior of your home, shed, walkways, pavers, outhouse, and more. Contact the professionals at Squeegee Squad for a free pressure washing quote and they will come out and make the exterior of your home sparkling clean.
Gutter Cleaning: Gutters collect water from the roof and direct it away from the home’s foundation. Water near the foundation of a home can cause cracks, flooding, and permanent damage. Gutter cleaning is a necessary chore to avoid potential long-term foundation issues. It also saves any landscaping underneath from being ruined due to rainwater overflow. Squeegee Squad will clean your gutters by hand, flush the downspouts to ensure that they are clear, and bag and haul away any debris.
Window Cleaning: Enjoy your beautiful landscaping through sparkling windows! It’s recommended to have an interior and exterior window cleaning at least twice a year, and additional exterior cleanings as needed. All Squeegee Squad locations perform residential cleanings year-round! Contact us for a free quote today.
The advantages of mulch outweigh those of rock landscaping. With mulch, your plants will have enough nutrients, an increased growth rate, and moisture and temperature control. Additionally, the initial cost of installing a mulched landscape is affordable. In the end, it comes down to personal preference and what factors are important for what you are trying to accomplish in your yard.
Contact the professionals at Squeegee Squad to assist with your pressure washing, gutter cleaning, and window cleaning needs and have your home and yard ready for the season!