Mulch for Landscaping

Best Type of Mulch for Your Landscape

The best types of mulch are ‒ wood chips or shredded leavescompost, grass clippings, and straw, among others. Mulch has various types and qualities; hence, choosing the best mulch for your landscape is an important exercise. The mulch availability in the market can be confusing when determining which mulching material is suitable for your lawn. 

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Whenever you think of mulch, you may bring the shredded bark to your mind, but you should know that there are different mulch types you can consider for your yard. Also, you should know when to add mulch to your lawn, and the exact amount of mulching material is also essential for allowing your plants to remain healthy.

What is the Best Type of Mulch for Your lawn?

The following are the best type of mulch for your lawn; let’s check them in detail:

Wood Chips or Shredded Leaves

The first best type of mulch for your lawn is wood chips or shredded leaves, which you can purchase in bags from any reputed garden center. You can use it to mulch the flower garden and the shrug borders. For an affordable choice, you can seek the help of any tree-care or utility company to check if they can lend some wood chips from their extra storage. 

If you plan it way ahead, you can use the Christmas tree instead of throwing it away in the trash. If your lawn has trees, you can collect the fallen leaves and shred them as mulch. It gives your nutrient-rich mulch without adding extra cost. Also, you do not need any special machine to shred as it can be done using a lawnmower and bagger to collect leaves and then cut them into small pieces to use as mulch. 


Compost appears like soil, which remains darker and helps set off plants correctly. Also, it is affordable, and you have the choice to create the rich compost for free. It also includes leaves and grass clippings. Several municipalities can offer you compost as well. You can give your compost a different purpose while using it as a mulch. 

If you have it extra, it will help make the plants happy and keep the soil rich. You can help reserve the compost to spread like any thin layer found all over the plants and put it over the next top using another mulch, including chopped leaves. It helps make compost biologically active and moist and offers good benefits for fruits, flowers and vegetables.

Grass clippings

Grass clippings are popular mulch used in gardens as an organic lawn fertilizer. You can easily collect the dried or fresh grass clippings in the lawn mower bag, which you can use to shape the landscape. Even if you spread the grass clippings on your lawn, it helps in giving you the best result. 

Adding grass clippings can carry a wide range of duties on your lawn. These include adding nutrients and keeping the trash bin empty. You can either place it on the lawn or put it in the garden bed, which is an essential method that further helps prevent weeds and even secure moisture. For effective use of grass clippings, you should be sure about the size. 


It is also known as hay, used in gardens and lawns. If you plan a vegetable garden, you can quickly grow it with the help of straw, weed-free hay or salt hay. It helps keep it clean and crisp, retain the soil moisture, prevent weeds, and even add organic matter to help break down the soil.  

Straw is known for its beauty and thus adds a golden color that makes the lawn awesome. It takes time to break the grass or leaf clippings. Applying straw gives the gardeners different options. Some use a shredded straw, while others choose larger ones. The other benefit of straw is that it keeps mud away from the edibles. A quick tip to remember before applying straw is to keep the straw-free from weed seeds, or else it can bring more weeds than it prevents. 

Plastic Mulch 

Using a black plastic sheet as mulch is an excellent idea if you deal with lawns having grass and vegetable gardens. When you can spread it tightly on any smooth soil surface, the black plastic can help transmit the sun’s heat under the soil. It helps create a microclimate by making it three degrees warmer compared to an un-mulched garden. 

Apart from securing the plants and fruits in the garden, plastic mulch helps prevent weed growth and allows it to retain the soil moisture. Using infrared transmitting plastic can be expensive compared to the standard black plastic. These can offer you good results. These plastics provide additional heat to the soil.

Landscape Fabrics

The landscape fabrics are also called geotextiles and are good inorganic mulch to use on your lawn. It allows water and air inside the soil, preventing weeds from coming out of it. Yet, it offers some drawbacks. 

However, constant sun exposure can degrade this mulch with time. To make it long-lasting, you should cover them using a second mulch. Like the plastic mulch, you should keep geotextiles free from shrubs. These grow well, allowing you to rip the landscape fabric when these are removed.

Why add mulch to your lawn? 

There are several benefits attached to adding mulch over the flower beds and other places on your lawn. During the summer, mulch helps hold moisture content in the soil. Hence you do not need to water too often. 

The hot season can dry the soil and make it hard due to harsh summers. However, mulch can help secure the ground from direct sunlight baking and thus help the plant be happy. We see mulch preventing weed seeds from sprouting. By adding a thick mulch layer, you can be sure about not adding any light to it. An ideal mulch layer depth is 2 to 4 inches. It is always a good idea to avoid going overboard. Going deeper beyond the said limit can make the plants suffer. 

When to add mulch? 

As per experts, you should check the mulched area on your lawn every spring season. If you notice it is affected and becoming thin, adding another layer of mulch in your flower beds or any other place in your yard is always a good idea. However, if you have to deal with a larger area where you need to apply the mulch layer, you should seek the help of any bulk supplier. 

It will prove an affordable deal instead of buying tons of mulch from any local outlet. Also, you do not have to carry all the bags using your vehicle to transport. You should check the mulch once again during the late fall and then reapply if required. During winter, having a decent layer of mulch can help act like insulation.

What are the types of mulch? 

There are two main types of mulch – organic and inorganic. The organic mulches are made of formerly living material, including grass clippings, wood chips, compost, sawdust, shredding bark, pine needles and sawdust. You can even include a paper in it. On the other hand, inorganic mulches include landscape fabrics (geotextiles) and black plastic.

Both the mulch types prevent weeds; however, the organic type offers several other benefits. It helps in improving the soil as it decomposes. In comparison, the inorganic mulches fail to break down. However, this does not mean that these are not a good choice for your yard.

Will mulch prevent weeds?

Mulch is not a 100 percent solution against weeds. They cannot prevent them entirely. Applying the mulch deep can only prevent several weed seeds, which are already found in the soil that are growing and germinating. However, you should avoid the weeds, which remain already rooted. 

Some tough weeds, including dandelions, will proceed to grow until you eliminate them ultimately. It will also blow away more weed seeds that will, in turn, blow away the roots found in the mulch (both organic and inorganic). Taking care of the mulch will also address the weed issues to a great extent. Explore more on the best ways of preventing weeds in your lawns.

How thick should you apply organic mulch? 

If you are applying mulch on your own, you should know how to apply organic mulch. You can spread around 4 inches of mulch to prevent weed growth and allow the moisture to remain in the soil. However, you should clean 6 inches of the area around woody stems to avoid rot. 

In conclusion, the best types of mulch are ‒ wood chips or shredded leaves, compost, grass clippings, and straw, among others. Mulch is beneficial for plants on your lawn and offers a good labor saver option. 

It prevents evaporation, and weed growth and enhances the quality of the soil. All these factors make your yard look attractive, and above all, it is affordable and straightforward to accomplish. 

You can always consult a professional like Eden if you have any query about using mulch in your lawn.

From selecting the right seasonal plants to installing an outdoor kitchen, our landscaping services can do it all for you. Contact us today for a stunning landscape!