If you have built a new home or decided to update the landscaping around your home you have probably been faced with this decision. Should you use landscaping rocks or some type of mulch in your garden beds?
The fact is there are good reasons for both, but let's break it down:
Longevity and Maintenance
Landscaping rock will last much longer than mulch. Mulch must be topped off every year or two because it slowly decomposes over time. This means less annual maintenance with rock than with mulch, but the annual mulch maintenance only amounts to less than a day's work for most people.
Landscaping rock is quite permanent. What I mean is, moving it is an unpleasant chore. The good side of that is that a heavy rain or excessive wind won't move it. Mulch is much easier to move, so if you like to tinker with the size and shape of your garden beds or want to transplant your tulips in another spot, mulch will make your life a lot easier. However, a heavy rainfall can wash your mulch away, especially on a hill.
So, now that you know the pros and cons of landscaping rock vs. mulch you can make the correct decision for your yard. If you still need some help here are a few things to consider in making your choice.
If you have a landscaping bed that will be permanent, is on a hill, will not hold annual flowers or small perennials, or if you have lots of leaves to rake in the Fall, rock might be your best choice.
If you have a landscaping bed that you want to adapt over the years, moving and replacing perennials as you go, is not on a hill or can be retained with a retaining wall, and you don't mind a day of topping it off every year, mulch is for you.
In the end it is a matter of personal preference. Whatever your decision on using rock vs. mulch, as long as you know the pros and cons, you will be ready.