Mulch is a great way to add nutrients to the soil in your garden and prevent weeds from growing. While most organic mulch is beneficial to plants in similar ways, different types of mulch are more suited to certain garden types.
Playground mulch is cleaner to play in and less likely to splinter upon impact, so if you are simply using mulch in gardens, it may not be worth the added expense. If you expect to have a lot of activity in mulched areas, playground mulch may be right for you. Gravel is another option for high-traffic areas, but should be avoided if individual stones have sharp edges and corners.
For weed suppression around trees and shrubs, large pieces of bark are ideal. The larger the components of the mulch are, the less likely they are to be displaced by wind and inclement weather. Because of the size of the bark chunks, you can get away with using less mulch in your landscaping designs.
For flower beds where you will be doing more frequent gardening, smaller pieces of mulch are ideal, as they will be easier to dig through. Grass clippings, pine needles, fallen leaves, and shredded hardwood all make excellent ground cover for flower beds and vegetable gardens.
Once you have determined the type of mulch you need, you will have to decide how you want to buy it. Mulch can be purchased in bags at the garden store, which you can carry home and store in a garage or shed until it is needed. For a discount, you can purchase mulch by the truckload, but it’s a little more labor-intensive, and it can be difficult to find storage for a large pile of loose mulch.
Buying mulch should be a fun experience, full of optimistic thoughts about happy plants. Talk to the staff of your local gardening store to find out which mulch is right for you.