Covering the soil in your yard can cut down on weeds and help your landscaping retain moisture. When it comes to picking a covering, your choices include organic mulch and decorative stone. Not sure which is right for your Connecticut yard? A few of the benefits of each:

Pros and Cons of Using Mulch

Mulch can be made of many different materials including wood, bark and other organic materials, as well as man-made materials like rubber. It helps the soil retain moisture and can reduce the amount of water required to maintain your Connecticut landscape. It can also retain heat from the daytime and keep your plants protected overnight against large fluctuations in temperature. When mulch breaks down, it can make your soil richer and better nurture your landscaping plants. Mulching helps guard against weeds, which improves your garden’s appearance and reduces competition with the plants that you want.

Mulch is typically inexpensive to buy. However, because it breaks down over time, it will need to be replaced on an ongoing basis. Because of this, any Connecticut homeowners find that the time and money investment in mulch over time can be excessive. Some mulching materials are very light and can be washed away by heavy watering or rainfall. These are all considerations that should be taken into account before choosing mulch for your N. Branford Guilford, East Haven or Madison yard.

Pros and Cons of Decorative Stone Beds

Stone offers many of the heat retention benefits that mulch does. However, in studies, it has found to be less effective at retaining moisture. Stone can offer many different looks to your yard, with options that include river rock, granite and others. Stone has an edge over mulch in that it does not break down over time. Stone can be spread in your garden once and then used for years. When used with landscaping fabric, stone is excellent at blocking weeds.

Decorative stone beds are very popular when used around swimming pools. Children (and adults) unwittingly splash water out of the pool when playing, which splatters chlorine and other pool chemicals on nearby plants and glass. A stone bed around the parameter of your pool can help protect your landscape from these chemicals.  Additionally, it can be precarious to weed whack against the exterior walls of an aboveground pool. Decorative stone beds provide an attractive solution.

There is a higher upfront cost when adding stone to your landscaping. In general, putting in decorative stone will cost between three and six times as much as using organic mulch in the same areas. But, the cost can become equal over time, as the stone does not need to be replaced. Stone is low maintenance, usually only needing periodic washing and a replacement of the top layer of stones. But, because stone is heavy, it can be more onerous for a homeowner to install on their own. Because of this, many people choose professional landscapers instead.

There are no hard and fast rules for landscaping choices. You can even put in stone beds in some areas and mulch in others. When choosing a material for your yard, consider your budget, the amount of time you want to invest and the general look you want in your Clinton, Branford, Madison or other Connecticut town landscaping.

If you have any questions or would like a consultation, please contact us today.


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