Rock vs. Mulch Ground Cover

mulch with stone walkway

Ground cover is a key part of maintaining your yard. In areas where there isn’t grass, a ground cover like mulch or rock is recommended. There are many benefits to keeping your soil in good condition and your yard in good health.

Master’s Landscape Design has been in business for over 20 years providing mulch and rock installation, as well as many other landscaping services, in Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, and Hendersonville, TN. Let us tell you about the benefits our customers have seen from using our ground cover installation services.

Benefits of Ground Cover Installation in Your Landscape Beds

There are several practical benefits to ground cover such as mulch and rocks.

First, ground cover prevents soil erosion. It protects the soil underneath from the rain and snow or from movement by other sources such as normal lawn use. It also helps soil retain moisture and stay nutrient-rich by covering it from the sun. Second, it insulates soil against temperature changes. This can help maintain the quality of the soil—but it also regulates the temperature of any plant roots or anything desirable growing in the soil in your yard.

Third, it prevents weed growth. Weed seeds are less likely to get the sun they need to grow and ground cover will stifle them before they reach the surface of the soil. Bare dirt is a breeding ground for unwanted weeds.

Fourth, it’s beautiful. Your yard will look much nicer with some gorgeous red mulch or marble rock than if you left the yard as bare dirt.

Installing ground cover has both practical and aesthetic benefits for your yard in our area of Tennessee.

How Often Does Mulch or Rock Ground Cover Need to Be Replenished?

This landscape bed in Hendersonville, TN has mulch ground cover.

The maintenance of ground cover depends on the type. There are two types of mulch—organic and inorganic.

Organic mulch, such as cocoa chips, grass clippings, or—more commonly in landscaping—wood chips, will likely need to be replenished and replaced more often, like once a year.

Inorganic mulch, most likely rocks, is slightly more permanent. Rocks are great for areas that might be walked on or in. They break down more slowly and are more likely to need replenishment as a result of lost or displaced rocks. We normally recommend replenishment every two years.

Mulch vs. Rocks—How to Choose?

Both mulch and rocks can be used in landscaping—sometimes you will use both at once in different areas of the yard. Both are available in a variety of options and colors. Both are better suited around different kinds of plants.

Mulch, specifically wood chips, are the less expensive option. It’s very cheap and light. It also adds to the soil as it decomposes, making it more nutrient-rich. But it does need to be replaced more often. It’s also not the best where a lot of water will flow and wash it away, such as around a pool or river.

Rocks are more expensive, but they do last a little longer. Their lack of moisture can provide fungal-prevention benefits if you’re in an area prone to it. They’re also less soft—they could perhaps be more likely to hurt children if you have young kids who like to run around a yard. It does not help add nutrients to the soil. It’s also less effective at preventing weed growth than mulch.

Contact Master’s Landscape Design today for an estimate on landscaping installation!

Master’s Landscape Design provides free estimates for your project in Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, and Hendersonville, TN. Call us today at (615) 288-2052.