Inorganic “Trophy” mulch

Tue. Jul. 17, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Inorganic “Trophy” mulch

We know it’s a good idea but what KIND of mulch should you get.  Organic vs Inorganic.  The first question to ask yourself is what do I want my mulch to do?  Do I want it to just sit and look pretty or do I want it to work for the money I put into it?   There are good reasons for both options.  Today we’ll focus on inorganic mulch or Trophy mulch as I call it.

Rock Mulch, okay, I have a bias against this stuff.  It’s a pain the b….ack.  Side.  (I lived in a home where they put rock all the way around the foundation, some places it was 2 inches deep, other places it was 10 inches deep)  If you’re using it as a weed suppressant than expect to have to use chemicals to kill the weeds that eventually come up through it because moving it is HARD work.

weeding this will not be fun

However, there are people who still want it, so if that’s you, then go ahead.  But first, take a sample home.  Most places will allow you to take a sample and see if it’s really the color you want.  Also, I would limit where you put it.

This photo below I grabbed from Planted Well, they have some great ideas to use rock.  This is not an endorsement, just for ideas sake.

Nice use of rock by Planted Well

On a recent garden tour, they used rock very well for drainage and it adds structure

As for Recycled Rubber…..

…another inorganic choice…. maybe.  Rubber mulch doesn’t breathe.  No weeds will come up but getting water, nutrients and air to the plants you want to thrive, will be a problem.  There are some studies suggesting it gives off toxins and gets too hot for plants.  There are 2 schools of thought on the subject and I think it’s one you have to decide for yourself.

Pros and Cons of rubber mulch – Total Landscape Care

Is Rubber Mulch safe for Plants – The Spruce

Rubber Mulch – Beware – Nature’s Way

Here’s something I never recommend:

Rubber mulch tree ringThey claim that air, water and nutrients can get through, if that’s true, then so can weeds.  And then you’ve got the weeds coming up through rubber.  Tough to pull!  Also, rocks and rubber heat up.  That’s not a good thing for most plants, they don’t need the extra hot soil.