A spread of mulch over the soil gives plants unending benefits. It insulates, moistens the soil, keeps bark-chewing string trimmers and lawn mowers at bay and many others.


The following are some things to think about before you buy mulch:




Majority of commercial organic mulches, besides straw, are wood byproducts from the lumber business. Bagged mulches coming from good home improvement stores or garden centers, or bulk mulches sold by reputable landscape supply companies are most probably clean and safe. Those cheap bags often sold at gas stations though may come with shredded construction debris or other waste that comes with metals and toxic chemicals. Also, avoid buying cypress mulch, even if it is widely sold by popular stores: it can come from clear-cut virgin trees in Southern wetlands. Read about some loam for sale here.




Medium-textured mulch, like shredded hardwood, will be good in most areas. But in a fixed layer around trees, large chunks, like pine bark nuggets, are going to last longer. For vegetable beds, buy something fluffy and fast-decomposing, like straw. Gravel mulch, recycled rubber tires or recycled glass can cover the ground, but they won't improve the condition of the soil as organic mulch does, and the pieces can also spread all over the yard. With an underlying layer of landscape fabric below the mulch, weeds can be deterred. In terms of mulch color, everything is a matter of taste, though undyed dark brown mulch seems to be the most classic choice. For more info about landscaping supplies, visit


Bag vs. Bulk|


Mulch can come either in bags, generally containing 2 or 3 cubic feet, or by the truckload, generally in cubic yards. Bagged mulch is pricier but easier to work with. If you buy bagged mulch, there will be various types available for various purposes. Bulk mulch may be ordered from landscape supply companies or garden shops. Prices will certainly vary; when you go shopping around, tell the seller what you intend to do with the mulch so they can make recommendations for that purpose. Note that delivery distance is going to affect the cost.




To determine the area for mulching, divide it into smaller shapes, such as squares or rectangles; measure them, computer for the area of each and add them up to know the total area. Then decide what  depth you want to go for.


Free Mulch



Fallen leaves are great mulch for flower and perennial beds, particularly if shredded. For trees as well as shrubs, try asking local landscapers from or utility crews for a free dump of wood chips from tree trimming - certainly not on the lawn, however, as this can kill the grass. Also, avoid just-shredded wood chips in vegetable or flower beds. They may be too chunky, and can compete for nutrients with the plants as they begin to decompose.