Advantages and Disadvantages of Rock & Mulch

So, we have completed your new landscape and we have one final decision to make.  Do you want to use mulch, or do you want to use river rock?  Mulch and river rock both have their pros and cons.  Both can provide a nice clean finish to your new landscape beds.  Let’s go over the pros and cons.

Advantages of Mulch:

  • Helps reduce water evaporation
  • Different color options: Hardwood, Dyed Brown, Dyed Black 
  • Weed suppression 
  • Protect plants from the hot summer and cold winter temperatures
  • Adds nutrients to the soil as it breaks down
  • Cost effective at $39.99 a scoop

Disadvantages of Mulch hardscapesPondless Waterfall with a Bubbling Rock feature & Natural Stone Steps among traditional Landscaping in Oak Ridge, Tennessee

  • Discoloration over the season
  • Needs to be re applied 
  • Too much can be added to the soil and could suffocate your plants 
  • Mulch around the base of the plants could be a spot for slugs and snails to live

Advantages of River Rock 

  • Different size options: 1”-2”, 2”-5”, 6”-18”
  • One time application!  You’ll never have to re-apply! 
  • Doesn’t fade in the sun
  • Lower cost long term 
  • Weeds have a harder time growing in a rock bed

Disadvantages of River Rock 

  • Higher upfront cost at $69.99 a scoop
  • More labor intensive to put down 
  • Doesn’t break down and nourish the soil