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Natural vs Synthetic Mulch



There are many many types of mulch but at the end of the day they can all be broken down into one of two categories:  natural(organic material) or synthetic(man made material).

Mulch as a whole offers a wide variety of benefits –weed reduction, minimization of erosion not to mention the aesthetic value it adds to your yard.  There are, however, many differences, both good and bad to both natural and synthetic mulch.

Natural Mulch:  

  • Adds nutrients to the soil as it decomposes,  making the soil healthier.
  • Increases the moisture retention and water-holding capacity of soil making the garden more drought tolerant
  • Provides an ideal environment for certain insects and organisms, such as earthworms, that are beneficial to plant growth
  • Natural mulch does need to be replaced as it decomposes over time.  Hardwood mulch is a good middle ground, as it decomposes more slowly than bark mulch, making it longer-lasting and more cost effective however, this also decreases the value of the nutrients it provides to the soil

mulch in hand


Synthetic Mulch:

  • Keeps soil warmer. If you’re looking only to warm your soil or give plants an early start, this is a good thing.  however, during the hot summer months it can get warm enough to cause damage to plant stems and roots.
  • Synthetic mulch does not attract insects that can be problematic around certain trees or plants. This is especially beneficial for plants or trees prone to damage by certain bugs however it also discourages the types of insects that are beneficial.
  • Does not decompose, meaning it must eventually be removed and thrown away.
  • Often can contain bits of wire if it is a recycled material

MULCH synthetic wire

So there you have it… Natural vs Synthetic Mulch.  In my opinion natural mulch is the only way to go.  If your out there mulching you garden beds your doing it because you want them to look their best and to look their best they need to be healthy.   there are so many varieties of mulch to choose from and each of them also has various pros and cons but we will get into that another time…  until then visit www.adamslandscapesupply.ca and check out what is available.

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