What Is A Mulch? How Can One Make Use Of A Mulch – 2024 Guide

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Many at times, most people are left puzzled as to what mulch is. If you have ever asked yourself or anyone this question “What Is A Mulch”, then this page you are on has all the answers that you seek.

Mulches are considered to be protective layers of either inorganic or organic materials that are placed on top of soils either in a landscape or in a garden.

Now, the next question that comes to mind is why are mulches placed on top of soils, however, the answer is because they are active in retaining soil moisture in our soils, they ensure that our soils have an appealing and attractive look and they also help in fighting against the growth of weed in our garden.

In this review, we would show you the types of mulch that we have, how to make use of them. We would also be comparing organic and synthetic mulch options and without wasting further time, let’s get started right away.

Types Of Mulch

Today, we have very few types of mulches that could either fall under the organic or under the synthetic category. Come with us and meet each of them right away;

Synthetic Mulches

The first category we want to look at is the synthetic mulch and this option is best for people who fail to meet up with the level of maintenance that an organic mulch would require.

Furthermore, this option is also best for people who would love their garden to have a synthetic look or appearance. However, you must know that synthetic mulches do not add nutrients to the soil bed but they would ensure that moisture is retained inside the soil. These mulches are

  • Landscape fabrics
  • Tire shreds or black plastic
  • Rocks or gravel

Organic Mulches

The organic mulches are the next category we want you to have a look at and this category of mulch is the type that tends to decompose as time passes.

While they decompose, they provide garden beds with soil nutrients and because organic mulches are biodegradable in nature, they also tend to be very easy to replace compared to synthetic mulches. They are;

  • Compost manure
  • Hay
  • Homemade compost
  • Woodchips
  • Newspaper
  • Fallen leaves or lawn clippings

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More On Synthetic Mulches And How They Are Used

Here, we want to talk about the types of synthetic mulches that we have mentioned earlier and how these mulches can be used;


Using stones or gravels as mulch has its own advantages. Gravels and stones tend to be completely visible than when you make use of tire shreds or plastic but as the saying goes, whatever has an advantage would also have its own disadvantage.

The disadvantage of making use of gravels or stones as mulches are that they might be quite difficult to move if the need arises to redo your garden.

Naturally, gravels and stones when used as mulch are very pretty and attractive to look at and they also offer warmth for little plants.

However, when making use of stones or gravels as mulch, have it at the back of your mind that weed might tend to spring up from cracks and also when using this type of mulch option, minimal levels of maintenance is required.

Landscape Fabric and Plastic

If you are searching for a low maintenance option on your garden then landscape fabric is a very good option for you.

One downside about this type of mulch option is they tend to be a bit harsh when dealing with delicate plants but they also deliver best performances when used around woody plants and trees.

This is a result of the ability of plastic to heat up to extremely high temperatures especially during warm months and this could tend to eliminate healthy organisms that are found in dirt.

This is why it is very necessary that holes are cut in fabrics and plastics so as to allow for a better flow of air.

Stapling these fabrics or plastic is very necessary so as to avoid being blown away during windy seasons.

They are not so beautiful to look at like the gravel or stone mulches, so you can also put a thin layer of mulch on a landscape plastic or fabric if you are pleased with its performance and not its appearance.

Composted Manure And Homemade Compost

Whether it is homemade or already made, compost is one of the best mulch options anyone can go for.

Over time, compost manure has proved to be the best addition any gardener can make to any garden and it is used by applying small layers of compost manure to plant holes as they are effective in adding nutrients to soils.

When used as a mulch top layer on any soil, they off protection and also helps nurture gardens to grow. This homemade compost can be made using unused or leftovers from fruits, vegetables, potato skins, grass clippings, leaves and more.

One caution you need to take is to avoid adding meat to your compost. This is simply because the addition of meat eventually leads to the breeding of maggots and other unwanted elements.

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