Which is the best mulch available in the market? How is mulch beneficial to a Lawn? Before we give answers to these questions let’s get to the basics. A mulch is nothing but a layer of material spread over soil. This is done mostly to help with the gardening chores and to save time, as it greatly decreases the need of frequent watering as well as protects seeds.
Coming to the questions, mulch can be extremely beneficial to a garden. It not only slows down the process of evaporation but also provides crucial nutrients, fights off harmful predators and locks in moisture. All this aids in healthy and quick growth of plants. Furthermore, the rich vibrant color of mulch also adds to the aesthetic beauty of a garden. It might be hard to notice mulch at first glance in a garden, because the eyes are drawn to the flowers, but it is mostly there accenting the flower beds.
Comparison Table of Best Mulch to Buy in 2021
Now how to decide which mulch to use? This can be quite hard to figure out, that is why after extensive research, we have made a list of ten best mulch available. To further make the process easier for you, we have included a buyer’s guide. The list is as follows:
|EZ-Straw Seeding Mulch with Tack||Brand: EZ-STRAW
Area covered: 500 sq feet
Item size: 2.5 cu ft bale
|Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Sun and Shade||Brand: Scotts
Area covered: 225 sq feet
Item size: 2 pound, 3.75 pound,10 pound,20 pound,40 pound
|100% Natural Cedar Chips Mulch||Brand: Wood smith USA
Item size: 4 quart FBM
|FibreDust CoCo Mulch, 11- Pounds||Brand: FiberDust
Item size: 10 pounds
|Plow & Hearth 55632 Recycled Rubber Permanent Garden Mulch Border||Brand: plow& hearth
Item size: 120×4.5
|GreenView Fairway Formula Seed Success (2329827) Biodegradable Mulch with Fertilizer||Brand: GreenView
Area covered: 200sq feet
Item size: 10 pounds
|USA Pine Straw – Premium Pine Needle Mulch||Brand: USA Pine Straw
Packaging: Cardboard Box
Area covered: 160 sq feet
|No Float Earthtone Cypress Blend Mulch||Brand: OLDCASTLE LAWN & GARDEN
Volume: 2 cu ft
Item dimensions LxWxH : 35.00 x 22.00 x 5.00 Inches
Item weight: 25 pounds
|Rubberific Rubber Mulch Bagged Brown||Brand: International Mulch
Packaging : bag
Area covered: 9 sq ft
Item weight: 25 pounds
|Organic Houseplant Mulch||Brand: Southside Plants Store
Packaging : bag
Area covered: covers several household pots
Item weight: 2 quarts, 4 quarts
1. EZ-Straw Seeding Mulch with Tack
It can be quite difficult to avoid bare grass spots in the lawn, especially if there are children running about and playing in it. If you can relate to it, you know the struggle. But reseeding is not less of a challenge either. With the fear of seeds getting washed away by water or get blown by the wind as well as the pesky animals feeding on them, it almost gets hard to get anything growing. However, there is a simple solution, and that is to use EZ-Straw Seeding Mulch with Tack – Biodegradable Organic Processed Straw – 2.5 CU FT Bale for protection. It is the best-reviewed product on amazon and is our premium pick on this list of ten best mulch.
This mulch is perfect for spot treatment. It has a bonding agent that makes it stick together, hence protecting seeds from any threats. Not only for grass, but can also be used to cover any kind of seeds freshly sown into the soil. Since the straw mulch is biodegradable, it decomposes over time to provide nutrients to the seeds. Therefore , it accelerates the germination process. Moreover, there is no need of cleaning up the mulch after the seeds have sprouted as it will degrade on its own.
You can also cut down your water bills using it. As it is very good at holding moisture, there is no need of watering the plants often. Another benefit it provides is the inhibits the growth of weeds. Throughout the year with continuous application of this straw mulch, your garden will be 99% free of weeds. Furthermore, it is quite convenient to use and store as well. The bag can be stored outside as well, as it is UV protected. The mulch does not pose any threat to children or pets and can be sued all year round.
- Protects freshly sowed seeds
- Binding agent that keeps the straws getting blown away
- Locks in moisture, seeds require less watering
- Biodegradable, provides nutrients to the soil
- Inhibits weed growth
- Bag is UV protected, hence can be stored outside
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- Protects seeds
- Speeds germination process
- Safe for children and pets
- Easy to store
- Covers 500 sq ft area
- Does not improve the aesthetic of the garden
2. Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Sun and Shade
Gardening is not an easy task, particularly if you don’t have any time on your hands to tend to the garden. So, to make life easy, we have included this Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Sun and Shade, 10 lb. – Combination Mulch, Seed and Fertilizer. This product works wonders and is also among the best reviewed products on amazon.
As an avid gardener myself, I know the struggle of reseeding. But ever since I came across this product, it can’t get easier. This straw mulch comes with a revolutionary grass seed mixture. So if you are looking for an easy solution to reseeding , just invest in this. It already has the seeds, hence just spread it over any bare grass spot, and under proper care grass should grow within a week or so.
Moreover, since the mulch absorbs six times its weight and retains the moisture, less watering is required. It also has a controlled released feed technology, that gradually releases fertilizer into the soil to help in the growth of the seeds. Not only this, but it also has a protectant in its formula to keep the seeds safe from pests and various diseases. According to the instructions provided by scotts, the mulch can be used in full sunny, shady and even in congested areas.
So, it is perfect for anyone who doesn’t have much time or who just hates gardening altogether. The product comes in four different types of grass seeds mainly Bermuda, centipede, tall fescue and sun and shade
- The straw mulch already has a grass seeding mix
- Absorbs water six times its weight, efficient in retaining moisture
- Has a controlled release feeding technology
- Includes a protectant that keeps the seeds safe from pests and diseases
- Can be grown anywhere, with no restriction of any specific weather
- Requires less effort to regrow grass
- Already has fertilizer and protectant in its mixture
- Does not prevent weeds from growing
3. 100% Natural Cedar Chips Mulch
If you are looking for a mulch that does the job as well as adds visual beauty to the flower beds then you should definitely consider buying a cedar mulch. And what is better than a versatile cedar mulch? This 100% Natural Cedar Chips Mulch not only serves as a great weed barrier for the flower beds but also has a lot of other uses.Due to its versatility and various benefits it is the bestselling product on amazon.
Cedar is one of the most expensive mulch available. Because, unlike other mulch, it decays very slowly and is long lasting. So that it does not have to be replenished every now and then. As the name shows, this mulch comprises of 100 percent organic cedar chips, with no chemicals or preservatives added. Hence, can be used to serve many purposes.. The first and foremost purpose is to serve as a mulch that holds in moisture and keeps pests away from the flower bed. It omits a subtle cedar odor that keeps various bugs and insects at bay. Moreover, as it can be used for indoor plants too, the scent acts as an air freshener. It can also serve as a litter for pets, that is effective in absorbing the vile odor and stench.
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Another great thing about this product is that the cedar sachet bags can get refilled. Moreover, the manufacturers provide a full refund upon any issue or unsatisfaction. With the amazing benefits it provides, at such a moderate price too, there is nothing to lose with this cedar mulch.
- Decays slowly
- Effectively locks in moisture
- Gives off a subtle Cedar scent, that acts as an air freshener
- Can be used in the litter box, absorbs odor
- Doesn’t wash away
- Makes the beds look aesthetic
- Keeps out bugs and insects
- The bag is small , so does not cover large area
4. FibreDust CoCo Mulch, 11- Pounds
The product name can be misleading, as the coco can lead the reader to believe the mulch has chocolate in it. Well, that is not entirely wrong, the coco specifies that this is a coconut husk mulch. FiberDust is renowned in the agricultural industry and works to provide organic eco-friendly substrate, developed mostly from the pith of a coconut husk. In its nearly two decades of operation, it has been providing premium quality products.
This coco mulch is produced from a hundred percent pure coconut husk, with no chemicals or any kind of additives. The coconut mulch comes in the form of blocks that expands after getting hydrated with water. According to the manufacturers, with four gallons of water one block expands to over 2 cubic feet. The mulch features a rustic orange color that adds to the visual aesthetic of the garden. This color does not get washed away by rain or water, nor does the mulch degrade quickly. Rather, it can last up to 2 years. Moreover, since the mulch is made up of coconut husk, it poses no threat to children or pets. Just be careful that your pet does not eat the unexpanded form, as it expands a considerable amount upon hydration.
- Made of 100 percent organic coconut husk
- Beautiful rustic orange color
- Does not decay quickly, lasts up to 2 years
- Harmless to pets and children
- Prevents the growth of weeds
- Locks in moisture
- Color does not fade
- Suitable for small yards only
5. Plow & Hearth 55632 Recycled Rubber Permanent Garden Mulch Border
When it comes to mulch, the biggest reason of its use is the aesthetic beauty it provides the lawn. Yes, mulch does help in preventing weed and keeping in the moisture, but that is done only to a certain extend. Besides, there are other products that prevent weed more effectively. If you are looking to buy a mulch only because of its aesthetics then this Plow & Hearth 55632 Recycled Rubber Permanent Garden Mulch Border does the job better than any other type of mulch.
It might seem odd to put plastic in the flower beds, but the mulch doesn’t poison or affect the growth of nearby plants. Made from recycled, shredded tires it has a black color that gives a neat look when added to any flower or vegetable bed. The thickness of the mulch helps to block any sunlight reaching the weeds, while at the same time allows water to seep through. Hence it effectively stunts weed growth. Moreover, the plastic withstands any harsh weather conditions and is very long lasting. There is no threat of it being washed away by water or get carried by water. The mulch comes in a 4.5 inch wide roll that is 10 foot long. It can be easily cut and customized to personal need.
- Durable and long-lasting, does not get washed away
- Effectively blocks sunlight to the weeds, hence kills them
- Makes the flower/vegetable bed look neat
- Lets water seep through, does not absorb it
- Easy to use
- Prevents weeds
- Lasts 3-4 seasons
- Only comes in one color, i.e. black
6. GreenView Fairway Formula Seed Success (2329827) Biodegradable Mulch with Fertilizer
If you are the one who only trusts and buys from famous well know brands, then this mulch might be worth considering. It is manufactured by Greenview, which is a household name in the garden indus
Biodegradable mulch as explained before, is not only environmentally friendly but also degrades over time and incorporates into the soil to provide nutrients. As such, one of the best biodegradable mulch available is the GreenView Fairway Formula Seed Success (2329827) Biodegradable Mulch with Fertilizer.
The thing about planting grass seeds, is that they require a lot of care and tending too. Even after the right care, the grass does not grow to its fullest. To tackle this issue, it is best to use a biodegradable mulch. This mulch will take care of majority of the tasks. For example , it absorbs a lot of water , hence the seeds require less watering. Moreover, it has a fertilizer in its formula, so that the seeds get a good supply of nutrients, without you doing much work. One of the major concerns with this kind of mulch is that it can be blown away by the wind. Well, the manufacturers have included a binding agent that act as tackifier and binds the mulch. Furthermore, if somehow you are not satisfied with the mulch GreenView provides full money back guarantee.
- Keeps grass seeds moist, requires less watering
- Contains a starter fertilizer for the healthy growth of seeds
- Biodegradable decomposes gradually
- Seeds germinate in less than 2 weeks
- Protects the seeds
- Covers a large area
- The mulch does not include seeds
7. USA Pine Straw – Premium Pine Needle Mulch
When it comes to inorganic and organic mulch, the organic mulch surpasses in all the qualities except in the rate of decay. They decay rapidly and have to be replenished every month or so. However, there is one particular type that breaks down slowly and that is pine needle mulch. It provides all the benefits of any other organic mulch, but at the same time is much more long-lasting.
This USA Pine Straw – Premium Pine Needle Mulch, is a lightweight mulch with a natural rustic orange color, which helps to give the surrounding landscape a beautiful unique appearance. They are best suited for plants that require an acidic medium, since when the pine needles break down they tend to make the soil acidic. Therefore, if you have Fothergillas, camellias or rhododendrons this is worth purchasing.
Another benefit pine needle mulch has is that it does not get washed away by water. The pine needles once set, stay put and are suitable for sloped areas too. Although it does take a lot of practice to put them down neatly. Furthermore, pine needles efficiently prevent weeds from growing and keep away slugs and other insects. They also add beneficial nutrients to the soil. One bag of USA Pine Straw – Premium Pine Needle Mulch easily covers an area of 160 sq feet.
- Long-lasting, breaks down slowly
- Good for sloppy areas
- Inhibits the growth of weeds
- Prevents weeds
- Enriches soil
- Provides an acidic medium for plants
- Pine needles are slippery
- On decay they turn silver-grey
8. No Float Earthtone Cypress Blend Mulch
This No Float Earthtone Cypress Blend Mulch 2 cu. Ft is a product of OLDCASTLE LAWN & GARDEN, which is a renowned company. It is used by many gardeners to get a beautiful aesthetic garden. Cypress mulch again is an organic mulch, made mostly from balding cypress tree it is biodegradable and hence environment friendly.
Cypress like every other mulch is very good at providing beneficial nutrients to the soil. The mulch efficiently retains moisture, that aids in the growth of nearby plants. What makes it unique is its vibrant golden color, as well as its ability of reflecting sunlight. It will definitely make any dull looking patch attractive and aesthetically pleasing. Moreover, just like cedar, cypress gives off an odor that repels insects. Along with a variety of weed, it also resists the growth of fungus. Another unique feature it has is its matting capability. Because of this feature, it prevents soil erosion. As the cypress mulch decomposes, not only does it improve the soil fertility, but also improves the aeration and drainage.
- Has a long lasting vibrant golden color
- Reflects sunlight
- Inhibits the growth of fungus
- Prevents soil erosion
- Improves soil fertility
- Decays gradually
- Keeps out bugs and insects
- Not effective in keeping termites away
9. Rubberific Rubber Mulch Bagged Brown
We now come to another inorganic mulch. Almost all the products on this list are organic. While organic mulch has its own benefits and is environment friendly, but in certain features it cannot beat inorganic mulch. For one , inorganic mulch does not decompose at all.
As the name clearly shows, Rubberific Rubber Mulch Bagged Brown is made up of shredded rubber. It is produced by the international mulch, which has been manufacturing mulch since early 2000. As such it produces premium quality mulch.
While almost all inorganic mulches are used for playgrounds, but some like this rubber mulch is suitable for use in walkways or flower beds as well. Although rubber mulch does not provide any nutrients or nourishment to the soil, it is quite effective in killing and stopping the growth of weeds. Moreover, it does not block any water, rather lets it seep through. Another benefit is that rubber mulch does not get scattered or carried away by the wind, rather stays put. It is also effective at repelling harmful insects and rodents. Although this mulch is a bit expensive, considering its low maintenance, there are no replacement costs. It does not decompose, nor does the color fade away. Hence, even after years, it looks fresh and new.
- Low maintenance, lasts for years
- Color lasts for 12 years
- Stops the growth of weeds
- Provides visual aesthetic
- Usable in playgrounds
- Durable and long lasting
- Color does not fade away
- Repels termites , ants and other various insects
- Covers small area
10. Organic Houseplant Mulch
Last but not the least is the Organic Houseplant Mulch, for indoor plants.The mulch is made from 1/8″-1/4″ sized barks collected from the pine forests in New Zealand. These barks are then processed under high heat in order to kill any pathogens and to aid in the growth of beneficial micro-organisms. Therefore, they make a better and healthier substitute to indoor plant moss.
Coming to the benefits, this bark mulch prevents evaporation of water, ultimately reducing the need for frequent watering. Along with holding moisture, the mulch effectively provides the household plants with fertile soil, rich in nitrogen and various other nutrients. Moreover, the mulch provides a protective barrier for the roots. It acts as a shield to the scorching summer heat, as well as provides the roots insulation in the cold winters. Apart from that, it improves the visual aesthetics of the indoor plants. What makes them even more desirable as compared to other alternatives , is the durability and longevity. As opposed to wood shavings, coconut coir and other mulches, these bark chips last longer. Hence are more cost effective in the long run.
- 1/8″-1/4″ sized bark chips
- Processed under high heat to kill pathogens
- Provide protective barrier for the plant roots
- Long lasting, does not lose color
- Enriches soil with various nutrients
- Bark comes from sustainable forests
- Slows down evaporation
- Mulch Has beneficial micro-organisms
- Does not attract any insects
- The mulch is only enough for a few pots
Buyers Guide For Purchasing The Best Mulch:
Even after going through the list of the best mulch available in the market, it can be quite confusing to decide which one to buy. In order to make this procedure easy for you, we have included the buyer’s guide. This guide includes all the properties a good mulch should have and under what conditions it is suitable for. It is as follows:
ORGAINC OR INORGANIC
It is very important that you should know the difference between organic mulch and inorganic mulch. Organic mulch is made from naturally occurring material such as wood , bark, straw etc. They decay over time and add nutrients to the soil. While inorganic is made from non-living material such as rubber, plastic, rocks, etc. It does not provide any nutrition benefit. Hence if the purpose is mostly to get a beautiful aesthetic garden, then in organic should be preferred over the organic mulch.
BUY FROM A REPUTABLE SOURCE
This is an important factor that is ignored a lot. Since mulch can contain trash, harmful chemicals, debris and different kind of metals, it is very important to purchase it only from reputable stores and brands. The cheaper brands may seem tempting but they will do more harm than good.
The size of the mulch is also another important factor to consider. If the amount of mulch in a bag is less, then it might prove expensive to fill out a large area. In such cases it is best to purchase in bulk as that is more cost effective.It is also advised to get the area correctly measured for convenience. But if you only need it for a small area or for small pots then bags should be fine.
CHOOSE ACCORDING TO YOUR LOCATION
A specific mulch can be very beneficial but only in a certain area. So it is very important to take into account your local weather conditions. If you happen to live in an area where it rains a lot or is very windy, then purchasing any straw mulch or any other light mulch would be very foolish. Even though straw mulch does have binding agents but it gets weak over time ,so the mulch can get washed away. Similarly, if your area receives a lot of sunlight, then stay away from dark inorganic mulch. As it tends to absorb heat and damages the roots.
FAQS ABOUT THE BEST MULCH
Q1: How should I mulch?
ANS: Mulching is quite simple. First begin by removing all the weeds. Add fertilizer to your soil for the plants, this is an additional step and can be skipped. Then using your hands or a rake level the desired area. Take the mulch and start placing it onto the surface
Q2: Is mulch effective in controlling weeds?
ANS: The main purpose of mulch is not to stop the growth of weeds. However, there are some that prevent weed growth to some extend but not all. Mostly, thick inorganic mulch is better at weed controlling than any other type. There are tons of other products that inhibit the growth of weeds more effectively than mulch.
Q3: How thick should a mulch layer be?
ANS: This depends on the area where the mulch is to be used. Usually, the mulch layer should be only 1-4 inches thick. But if you are using it in flower beds or vegetable patches , the thickness should not be more than 3 inches.
Q4: What are the adverse effects of mulching?
ANS: If not done right, mulching can be very damaging for the plants. The mulch will start to absorb excess moisture, causing the growth of fungus and other harmful micro-organisms. This leads to the rotting of the roots. It can also attract rodents and termites.
Q5: Can mulch be used in all seasons?
ANS: This depends on the type of mulch you are using, normally the manufacturers do specify the season to use it in.