Pros And Cons Of Mulch And Gravel For Ground Cover

Both mulch and gravel are commonly used as ground cover in landscaping. Although one is not necessarily better than the other, there are distinct differences between the two. While mulch decomposes and must be constantly replaced, gravel will last for centuries without changing, making it seem like the best choice. However, there are pros to using mulch, just as there are cons to using gravel. 

Mulch Pros And Cons

Mulch is organic material, like bark, which is used to protect the soil as a ground cover. It’s readily available at almost any landscape supply store, and can be purchased in bags or in bulk. Many people prefer to use mulch for ground cover for a variety of reasons. Some of the pros and cons of mulch include: 

  • Pros. Mulch adds nutrients to the soil as it decomposes, making it excellent for ground cover around trees and in garden areas. It also comes in a variety of colors and types, which can create a beautiful landscaping when it is first applied.
  • Cons. Because mulch decomposes, it must constantly be replenished. Also, mulch will lose its bright color and become dull after a few months in the elements. 

Gravel Pros And Cons

Gravel used as ground cover is usually the small, pea gravel variety. Often you will notice many commercial properties will use gravel in their landscaping for the longevity of the product. Some of the other pros and cons of gravel for ground cover: 

  • Pros. Gravel can last a lifetime with a little upkeep and maintenance. Also, landscape suppliers have a wide variety of colors and sizes that are excellent for aesthetic purposes.
  • Cons. While gravel lasts, it also will not enhance the nutrients of your soil, like mulch does as it decomposes. It is also more expensive for the initial application, although it may save money over mulch in the long run. 

Both mulch and gravel can protect your soil, add beauty to your landscape and deter weed growth. Talk to the experts at your local supply store to determine which material is best for your next landscape project.

Posted on behalf of Find Local Landscape Supply