Factors To Consider When Choosing Mulch

If you have a landscape or garden at home, you already know how crucial mulch is. This is a versatile gardening material that can help the soil retain moisture and promote strong roots. Known as a key component for a lush garden, it acts as a natural weed killer that blocks weeds from getting enough sunlight.  

With so many choices for mulch types and materials, it can be difficult to select the right one. Let’s take a look at the factors you should consider when buying and applying mulch for your landscape:

Intended Use

Mulch isn’t only used to cover the top part of the soil. It’s good for your landscape because it can serve the following purposes:

  • Suppress Weed Growth
  • Retain Moisture
  • Improves Soil Quality
  • Prevent Soil Erosion
  • Regulate Soil Temperature
  • Enhance The Appearance of Your Landscape

The intended purpose of the mulch plays a critical role in choosing the type of mulch to buy. If you want healthier soil, choose an organic mulch that will break down easily. As the organic mulch decomposes, it will maintain optimal soil temperatures, prevent weed germination, and provide sufficient nutrients. 

On the other hand, decorative mulch is great for aesthetic purposes. Dyed, colorful mulch can be used as a ground cover for your landscape. When applied properly, this type of mulch is non-toxic and safe to use. Dyed mulches can add a pop of color to an otherwise boring flower bed.


There’s always perfect timing for everything, including applying mulch. Before buying mulch, make sure you know when’s the best time to spread them in your garden. In general, the mulching season would be late winter or early spring. This is the period when your plants and entire landscape can benefit the most.

Mulching at the wrong time can encourage pests and cause harm to your plants. Adding them too early or too late will do more harm than good. You may talk to a professional landscaper about the ideal time for mulching.


Depending on the material used, mulch comes in a variety of textures. There’s fine, medium, and coarse-textured mulch. You can pick the right mulch texture by identifying the specific needs of your garden. Fine-textured mulches like grass clippings and pine needles are better at retaining moisture. These can absorb water and keep the soil cool.

On the flip side, mulch with a coarse texture is effective in preventing weed growth. Since it’s made from larger particles like wood chips, it will keep weeds at bay. It’s important to choose the right mulch texture according to your needs and preferences.


Mulch can be made from various materials, but the two basic kinds of mulch are organic and inorganic. Here are a few materials available on the market:

Organic Mulch:

  • Wood Chips
  • Shredded Bark
  • Hay
  • Straw
  • Leaves
  • Grass Clippings
  • Sawdust
  • Cardboard

Inorganic Mulch:

  • Plastic
  • Rubber Mulch
  • Landscape Fabric
  • Geotextiles
  • Decorative and Colored Stones

Both types of mulch help suppress weeds and add visual appeal to a landscape. However, inorganic mulches don’t decompose, which means they don’t add any nutrients to the soil. 


Another factor to consider when buying mulch is your budget. Organic wood mulch is generally more affordable than inorganic mulch. If you choose organic, expect to pay $45 to $130 per cubic yard. To save money, you can make your organic mulch by using waste materials, grass clippings, and dried leaves. Collect these materials, chop them into smaller pieces, and apply them around plants. DIY organic mulch will help you save costs and reduce waste in your yard.

Inorganic mulch like rock and rubber is more expensive but generally worth the money. It costs around $20 to $400 per cubic yard. Since inorganic mulch doesn’t break down, it can last for years and provide you with long-term savings.

Talk to the Landscaping Experts

When it comes to determining the best mulch, Midstate Landscaping is here to guide you. We can help narrow down your search and give you some landscaping advice. Our team specializes in lawn care, hardscaping, snow removal, and mulching services in the Carlisle, PA area. With our industry knowledge and equipment, we can make your landscape as lush as it can get. Call us today to schedule an appointment. Let’s take your landscape to the next level!