Wood Mulch vs. Decorative Rock: Which is Best for Your Idaho Landscape?

You have a lot of options when it comes to upping your landscape’s curb appeal: Purple coneflowers or evening primrose? Segmental concrete or a boulder retaining wall? And wood mulch or decorative rock?

Adding materials like wood mulch and rock to your plant beds can really enhance your landscape and even help control some weeds. With spring finally upon us, now is the perfect time to add them to your outdoor space.

But which one is best?

Here are the pros and cons for adding wood mulch vs. decorative rocks to your Idaho landscape to help you decide.

Wood Mulch

Probably the most commonly used planting material, wood mulch can help create a weed barrier for your beds.

Pros: The cheaper of the two options, wood mulch is available in different colors like brown and black. So, you can match it to your home or other structures. Wood mulch will also hold in moisture, which comes in handy during the heat of summer. And once the wood begins to decompose, it will provide your soil with useful organic matter and nutrients.

Cons: Since it does break down over time, you’ll need to reapply mulch annually. The mulch can also get blown or washed away during heavy wind and rain events because it’s light, so it isn’t as ideal for steep areas.

Decorative Rocks

The go-to for erosion-plagued areas, decorative rocks can help your landscape stand out.

Pros: Adding rock around your plant beds, entrances and even hardscaped areas can create some real visual interest. Since the rocks are heavier than mulch, they aren’t going to get displaced as easily during severe weather. So, this material is especially effective with slowing down water and limiting erosion issues. Decorative rocks are about 3/8 inch in size and come in a variety of earth tone colors.

Cons: Rock costs about twice as much as wood mulch up front. However, since they don’t decompose like mulch, this cost is basically washed out in the future. Since they don’t decay like mulch, decorative rock doesn’t provide any nutrients to your soil. This may require you to apply supplemental nutrients to keep your soil healthy.

Start Enhancing Your Idaho Landscape

Deciding between wood mulch and decorative rock basically comes down to the cost, appearance and added benefits (like providing nutrients and erosion control). You just need to figure out what’s most important to you.

wood mulch vs. decorative rock

And we can help you with that at Outback Landscape by showing you samples of each and figuring out what your landscape requires.

So whether your landscape needs some sprucing up this spring or a complete overhaul, our experienced team will work to improve your outdoor space so you can start enjoying it again.

We provide residential and commercial services such as landscape design, construction, maintenance, lawn care, landscape and holiday lighting, irrigation and snow removal. Located in Idaho Falls, we provide services throughout Southeast Idaho and Wyoming.

Contact us at 208-656-3220 or online to schedule a free meeting with our team to see how we can enhance your landscape.

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