May 06, 2012, 08:26 AMElaine Wilson
Mulch or Stone
I looking for suggestions on whether to use mulch or stone around my plants. I am landscaping around my front porch with new plants and bushes. Is stone easier to maintain or should I use mulch?
May 06, 2012, 10:28 AMConrad
Depends somewhat on where you live?
And the goal of the mulch, both can help to retain moisture around your plantings to some degree.
Stones can get hot and retain heat as well as reflect it, which can also burn and cook plants on south and west sides of homes. They also look nice, until dirt, leaves, seeds accumulate over and around them, and you need to vacuum or blow them clean if you desire the exposed stones. If you live in the desert or mountains this may be less of an issue, depending on the type of your plantings.
Mulch eventually breaks down and becomes compost in the soil, so no need to clean it, other than adding a topdressing of new mulch as needed. We use shredded cedar around all our foundation plants as it is long lasting and helps to repel many insects too.
May 06, 2012, 11:04 AMnona
I vote for the mulch. I have both and find that when you need to do anything in the stone, such as planting a new plant, or cleaning the weeds that will grow in the stone when enough dirt gets blown into it, the stone becomes a real pain in the you know where. And when you decide to change over to mulch , it's a problem getting all of the stone out
May 06, 2012, 11:48 AMConrad
I agree with nona, the organic mulch is usually better for the plants too. I would also stay away from the shredded rubber type or even heavily color dyed wood mulch.
But if you decide on rock, I'd make sure to put a heavy weight landscape fabric between it and the soil. Then you can more easily remove it if needed.
May 06, 2012, 08:32 PMElaine Wilson
Thanks for the tips. I guess I didn't think about having to clean the stones and hard difficult that might be. There are a few trees around us which would make for more cleaning. Now I need to pick a color of mulch. Thanks again for the advise.
May 28, 2012, 04:08 PMjeffreyerb
Mulch 100%. Use pebbles in an area that is less likely to be dug up later such as around a tree or just as a decorative design accent. Use mulch in planting beds and around shrubs- especially deciduous shrubs. Much easier to maintain!