i have around my home, some shrubs, hedges and other
assorted plant life.
i think the previous owner had some "mulch" in the
areas where those plants were.
other areas have a lot of rocks, that, from one landscape
guy told me, he didn't lay down a fabric, so the rocks
just over the years sank into the dirt.
my question is, which is better ?
(a). to go with root mulch (not the wood type that
(b). rocks with a layer of anti-weed fabric underneath
i think the rocks are a better idea, because it "should"
help water run off during storms... right ? i mean at
least that's what i think rocks in a perimeter drain do.
(house does have a perimeter drain system by the way).
but i have no experience with this type of stuff and
am wondering what most people choose (and why).
There's no one answer that's right for everyone and every area. Rock
isn't going to do anything as far as letting water run off. The
water is just going to go right through the rock and then through the
landscape fabric, which is permeable.
Advantages to rock:
You may like the way it looks and it's available in wide variety of
Doesn't require periodic renewal
No termite issue
Over time, dust, debris, wind blown dirt, leaf debris, etc will
accumulate and some weeds will still manage to grow.
When you want to add/remove a plant, it's a pain because you have to
ty to pull back the rock, not get soil in it, etc
It's not good for plants, particularly in hot, full sun environment
Advantages to mulch
Retains moisture, better for plants
Easier to work with when adding/removing plants
Has to be renewed every few years.
Possible terminte issues
Personally, I've had both and tend to prefer mulch.
On Fri, 4 Apr 2008 06:18:41 -0700 (PDT), email@example.com wrote:
I brought home about 15 - 20 bags a large bark for the landscape,
bought it from the local nursery place.
Didn't realize I brought home an invading army of crickets! When we
found them at night, having seen a few already I went on a late night
spraying to kill them off in large numbers:)
Watch what travels home with you...
crickets do no harm, and the chirping sounds kinda nice on a summer
i have thought about buying some big ones at the pet shop and
releasing them in my best friends basement.
he has a hearing problem but it would drive his family nuts:)
Trader4 covered most of the issues. Here are a couple more:
* The smaller the stones, the more trouble you'll have. Pea gravel moves
a lot. The wind can blow it around. Baseball-sized stones stay put, and
you can remove and replace them more easily when you have to replace the
fabric in a few years.
* Did I mention that the fabric will have to be replaced in a few years.
You'll *love* that job.
* Wind-blown dirt will eventually fill in around the stones. It's a pain
to dig them out.
It comes labelled for how long it is supposed to last. Ours is about 8
years old, doing fine, but it
doesn't last forever.
A border is important to keep rock out of the lawn. I have seen med.
river rock break glass on
second story. As for water, the ground should slope away from the
house, and water would run
off rock more quickly (leass permeating the soil) during heavy rain.
Landscape cloth lets through
plenty of moisture and the rock keeps ground from drying too much for
the plants. No heat issue
that I have observed. I would not consider pea gravel,lava rock, nor
sm. river rock. Lava rock
ic crap. Med. river rock stays in place with leaf blower so you can
keep most debris out of it; sm.
river rock moves easily.
For mulch that you refer to first, if it isn't wood then, what? Bark? Bark
lasts much longer but is worthless and blows around too much. Shredded
(not chipped) cypress is my favorite because it holds moisture well and
place, even with leaf blowers. Thick enough, and fairly compacted, it keeps
weeds down very well and keeps the ground moist..
We have used both cypress and rock around our condo. I have had to clean
up the messes like you describe where folks used rock without landscape
cloth. We used river rock, med. size, with landscape cloth where nothing
else will grow, and placed pavers in it in places so my bare feet don't have
to tred on rock to go to the faucet.
If you keep it clear of debris, then it won't support weeds. I had a
plants that were not hardy, so I put them in pots and put the pots into
surrounded by rock. When the weather got too cold, I just pulled the pots
to take them indoors and stuck them back in the hole when the freeze was
Allegedly, pine needles make good mulch but didn't work for us. We have
of hedges, so the cypress was easier and more effective for us. If you
have a lot
of trees, you might want to shred the leaves and use them for mulch ...
azaleas, rhododendrons. If you have a lot of room to fill, you might
want to consider
non-invasive ground covers, like hosta.
It does serve a purpose, but I don't like spreading money on the dirt
:o) It can protect trees and keep maint. down by circling trees with it
- keeps mower from having to cut too close and possibly injure the
tree. Also, around plants, grouping of plants can shade the soil and
accomplish the same thing that mulch does by making the ground too shady
to support weeds. Can help keep plants healthy, as well, by retaining
moisture. Organic mulch breaks down and helps fertilize, but initially
takes up a bit more N in the decomposition.
Speaking of mulching trees, the new trend here in NJ is to see yards
where the mulch around trees is piled 2 ft high. I don't know if
it's ignorant city dwellers moving in that do it themselves because
they think it's good for the tree, or they like the way it looks or
landscapers doing it out of ignorance or trying to get more money. I
doubt it's the latter, as they could charge these people just about
any amount for the job, regardeless of how much they actually use and
they'd never know the difference.
I used reground Bark. over landscape fabric 3 years ago. the weeding is
minimal . I hardly ever have to water the plants, and I dont have to mow
any grass. Frankly I dont understand your Statement about overdoing the
mulch Some people like high maintenance yard work, I dont.
It would depend on local conditions.
I believe I was specifically referring to those who pile up very thick
much around trees. Around here they like to do it because we have a lot of
crab apple trees and they like to put out suckers. Some how they think that
more mulch will stop the suckers. What it does do is provide a hiding place
for mice who can damage the trees. Thicker is not always better when it
comes to mulch.
I likely use less than most people and I would not say that anyone who
uses more than I do is using too much. But many seem to. I could not
tell about your yard. I would suggest that if it makes you happy, then you
are doing it right.
Everything I have read instructs not to let much contact the plant,
because, as you say, it harbors pests. Also sometimes promotes fungus
infection. A circle of mulch can help keep from injuring trunks with
mowers and edgers. You are also right about not using it too thick, but
thick enough keeps weeds down and too thin is wasted effort.
It isn't rocket science, but a couple of bags of bark scattered over a
long row of hedges is useless and wasted effort. Far better to group
plants and let them do the mulching :o)
Ground bark? Never heard of that. I believe ground nut shells are a
good mulch, too, but have never seen them in stores.
We have lawn service do the mowing at our condo. Various lawn people
have damaged the posts for yard lights, some being knocked over.
Finally planted a small circle of grassy ground cover around each post.
Looks nice, doesn't spread and mowers don't hit the post. Simple
solutions to lots of lawn problems.
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