Organic Or Inorganic Mulch: Which One Will Work Best For Your Garden?

Mulch is a tried and true way to improve the quality of your soil, and the health of your plants. As mulch can consist of any of a number of materials, you will have to figure out if organic mulch or inorganic mulch will work best for your garden.

Organic Mulch

Organic mulch probably sees the most use by gardeners. Organic compounds are those materials that come from the decomposition of living things.

  • Leaves
  • Straw and hay
  • Peanut shells and coffee grounds
  • Compost
  • Bark
  • Manure

Basically, if it lived at any point, it can become organic mulch. This becomes really important for those that do their own composting.

Organic mulch works well for growing things. As the mulch breaks down it releases nutrients into the soil and directly into the roots of plants. In addition, they help to feed the kind of beneficial bacteria and insects that help with plant growth.

Since organic mulch decomposes, it becomes a recurring cost. You will have to replace the mulch from time to time. However, if you compost, it's possible to keep coming up with your own organic mulch with little or no money.

Inorganic Mulch

Inorganic mulch can consist of things such as

  • rocks,
  • rubber chips,
  • plastic sheeting,
  • landscape sheeting,
  • or gravel.

While these types of mulches aren't nutrient rich like the organic ones, they still offer many benefits.

These types of mulches insulate the soil and regulate soil temperature, which helps to slow evaporation and keep moisture in the soil. It also helps to protect the soil from erosion. Inorganic mulch doesn't attract insects. So that becomes one less concern for you.

Inorganic mulch doesn't need regular replacing like organic mulch. For those without much time to tend their gardens, some inorganic options can work for years without replacing. Inorganic mulch also has some aesthetic benefits. For example, a stone bedding can add a lot of appeal to a garden.

What are You Growing?

The type of mulch you use will depend on what you're growing and how much time you give to gardening. Usually, organic mulch will offer the most benefit for a garden of any size. But, as you can see, there's a lot of benefit to using inorganic materials as well.

If you're unsure what direction to go in, speak to a mulch supplier, like  McLean Wood Products, about your specific gardening needs. No matter which direction you go, it's almost always better to have mulch than not.