When you are looking for the best black mulch for your garden or landscaping, you will find that there are hundreds of products on the market. Some are better than others, and some will make your life a lot simpler as a gardener or landscaper.
Basically, using black mulch will reduce the amount of water you need to irrigate your plants, dramatically improve the structure and quality of your soil (reducing erosion), and best of all, free up a lot of time you wasted weeding out.
All of these advantages cannot be discarded by any gardener or landscaper as the application of black mulch will simply make your life easier.
Below learn about the different types of black mulch and we also summarized 8 of the best black mulches available.
8 Best Black Mulch Reviews
What is the most suitable black mulch? Depending on the purpose and use, there are many different types of mulch available to homeowners.
Some mulches are made from recycled materials like wood chips, while others are made from organic matter like leaves or bark. Ultimately, the best mulch for any given application will depend on factors like cost, texture, and coverage.
Below we provide 8 of our top picks for you to choose from.
- #1. Oldcastle Lawn and Garden Black Mulch
- #2. CountryMax Midnite Black Hardwood Mulch
- #3. Longleaf Pine Straw Black Colored Mulch
- #4. FibreDust CoCo Black Mulch
- #5. Playsafer Black Dyed Rubber Mulch
- #6. Plow & Hearth Recycled Rubber Permanent Garden Mulch Border
- 7#. ECOgardener Premium Pro Garden Fabric Weed Barrier
- 8#. HOOPLE Garden Weed Barrier. Premium Pro Fabric, Black Mulch
#1. Oldcastle Lawn and Garden Black Mulch
It is expensive but worth it when it comes to helping anything grow and beautifying your perfect garden.
The color doesn’t fade for at least 12 months and it greatly helps moderate soil temperature and retains plenty of moisture.
So, when it comes to the best black mulch, we think you should try out the Oldcastle Lawn and Garden Black Mulch.
It is one of the better old-school brands on the market.
One of the standout features of the Oldcastle branded black mulch is that it helps maintain moisture really well and works great for all walkways, plants, trees, flower beds, and natural areas.
While it is definitely on the more expensive side of things, we think it is worth it as it just helps everything grow and is worth its weight in gold.
Furthermore, the Oldcastle has pretty amazing durability and can last for nearly a full year without any sort of color degradation.
We can’t say the same with other brands.
- Plant protection
- Weed prevention
- Moisture retention
#2. CountryMax Midnite Black Hardwood Mulch Chips
The standout feature will probably have to be the beautiful midnight black color which is closest to a true black jet-black look.
This black stays black for a long time, even longer than the Oldcastle above.
Additionally, it is nice to know that this black mulch is designed to weed prevention and retains moisture pretty well.
However, we do believe that Oldcastle does this stuff a bit better.
So overall as a mulch, it is pretty effective for helping plants, flowers, and trees grow and it works amazingly as a colorful decorative in your garden that lasts longer than others.
- beautiful black colored
- Aid in weed prevention
- Good moisture retention
- 2 cubic foot bag
- Easy to use
- Can be used for most plants
- Not expensive
- Need to be replaced yearly
#3. Longleaf Pine Straw Black Colored Mulch Compost
As the name implies, it is made of naturally chopped long-leaf pine straw with a black color that has the proper UV protection to ensure long-lasting vibrancy.
This black-colored mulch has a unique colorant that is very non-toxic and quite safe around pets, kids, and animals.
We can’t say the same about other brands. Additionally, it is pretty light and easy to install and each 2 cubic foot bag covers about 25 square feet.
- 90 Bags per Pallet
- 2 Cubic Ft. Bags
- Each bag covers about 25 sq. Ft. (2-3 Inch Depth)
- 100% Natural Longleaf Pine Straw
#4. FibreDust CoCo Black Mulch Biodegradable
It has a very long-lasting black color that can last up to 2 years.
This eco-friendly organic medium has pretty high water retention and does a really good job of controlling weeds. It also just looks great in any garden.
We think that the real standout feature here is just appearance as it has this nice rust-like black appearance that really looks cool in your garden or walkway.
Just keep in mind that it comes a bit dehydrated and you need to soak it in water to have it fully expand. Also, it is a bit pricey for the coverage area.
- Can cover large areas
- Produced in the USA
- Easy to spread
- Good value
- No seeds
- No bad smells and odors
- Blow away if not laid properly
#5. Playsafer Black Dyed Rubber Mulch Nuggets
In case you are looking for black mulch in rubber form, the Playsafer Black Dyed Rubber Mulch is probably the best one out there.
This is not going to be for your garden and it won’t retain moisture or prevent weeds like traditional black mulch.
Instead, it is great for just filling up things in bulk and amazing for playgrounds and landscaping.
In other words, it is pretty nice for aesthetic purposes.
Needless to say, it is still nice to know that this stuff needs minimal maintenance, quickly dries after thunderstorms, and will not decompose.
- Can help prevent fungal growth in plants
- Great for playgrounds, swingsets
- Great for landscaping
- From recycled tire sources
- Does not attract bugs
- Hardly blows away in heavy wind
- Does not absorb water
- May be toxic to plants
- Not environmental friendly
#6. Plow & Hearth Recycled Rubber Permanent Garden Inorganic Mulch
Look no further than Plow & Hearth’s recycled rubber permanent garden mulch.
This rubber mulch is made from recycled tires, so you can feel good about using it in your garden.
Plus, our rubber mulch lasts longer than traditional mulches, making it a great value.
So, if you’re looking for an inorganic material that is also environmentally friendly, consider using this recycled rubber mulch.
Plow & Hearth’s recycled rubber mulch is made from ground-up tires.
It is a dark brown color and has a bumpy texture. It is available in two thicknesses: ¼ inch and ½ inch.
Note that it is easy to cut the strips with a sharp knife. You can cut it to fit it around the bases of shrubs and plants. Also, note that we prefer to use it to dress up a perennial bed or border. This will give the surrounding beneath plants a great appealing and refined look.
Plow & Hearth Rubber Mulch comes in narrow rolls, measuring 4.5 inches wide, 120 inches long, and 0.63 inches thick.
- Recycled, shredded rubber tires
- Natural-looking weed blocker
- Allows air/water through
- Easy to use
- Won’t fade
- Stands up to weather extremes
- Looks like real wood mulch
- Does not absorb water
- Not environmental friendly
#7. ECOgardener Premium Pro Garden Fabric Weed Barrier
EcoGardener Premium Pro Garden Fabric Weed Barrier mulch is a high-quality, nonwoven fabric made of 100% polypropylene.
It blocks sunlight and stops weeds from growing, making it the perfect choice for garden beds, vegetable gardens, and flower gardens.
The fabric is also lightweight and easy to work with, making it a great choice for those who want to keep their gardens looking neat and tidy.
Note that it is lightweight. The durable fabric is easy to install. It comes with lines so that you can easily match the different stripes.
As the strips are large (available in 3-foot and 4-foot widths) and they come in very long lengths ranging from 50 feet to 250 feet, you can cover a lot of soil in a minimal time. These are perfect for any large-size project.
Finally, the fabric is made from chemical-free fabric. The fabric has been designed in such a way that air and water pass through, providing the best aeration and moister possible to your soil and plants.
- Weed barrier
- Super-Easy To Install
- Let air and water through
- Conserve soil’s moisture
- Fabric made to last
- 100% Satisfaction or money back
- Offer a 30-day, hassle-free, full refund
- Won’t fade
- Does not absorb water
- Not environmental friendly
#8. HOOPLE Garden Weed Barrier – Landscape Fabric Mulch Retaining Moisture
HOOPLE Garden Weed Barrier is a premium fabric made of high-quality polypropylene.
It can be used as a standalone product or in conjunction with other wood mulch laid on top of the Hoople.
The wood mulch will help keep the fabric in place and also adds nutrients to the soil.
HOOPLE Garden Weed Barrier is a top-quality product that will help you keep your garden free of weeds. The fabric is also designed to allow water and air to pass through.
The barrier is made of premium pro-fabric, which is tough and durable under direct sunlight. It measures 32 inches by 180 feet, so it will cover a large area.
Note that this mulch comes with a 5-year warranty.
- Made from synthetic fibers
- Has a minimal impact on the environment
- Easy to install and maintain
- Good for your garden
- Promotes soil health
- Allow air and water to pass through
- Thick and durable fabric
- Does not absorb water
- Not environmental friendly
It is important to consider what you are trying to accomplish with your mulch before making a purchase. For example, if you are looking for durable mulch that will last for several years, then Oldcastle Lawn and Garden or CountryMax Midnite Black Hardwood would be good black mulch options.
The FibreDust CoCo Black Mulch is a really good option if you want to add nutrients. Your garden will definitely benefit from the natural nitrogen that comes with cocoa bean residues.
Note that both Plow & Hearth’s recycled rubber permanent garden mulch and ECOgardener’s premium pro garden mulch are good options for gardeners looking for environmentally friendly and durable mulch.
ECOgardener’s mulch is a bit more expensive, but it is made of 100% recycled materials and is guaranteed to last for at least two years.
Plow & Hearth’s is cheaper, but it is not made of recycled materials and may not last as long.
Finally, HOOPLE Garden Weed Barrier is a great way to keep your garden looking neat and tidy. The black mulch helps to keep the weeds at bay, while the fabric prevents them from growing through. It’s easy to install and can be used on a variety of surfaces. Plus, it’s affordable and comes with a five-year guarantee.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Black Mulch – A Buying Guide
When choosing the top black mulch for your needs, there are a few factors you should consider.
- Organic mulch and inorganic.
- Reasons for laying down the mulch.
1. Organic and inorganic mulch
Organic mulch will have no negative impact on your garden and plants. Inorganic mulch may have an environmental impact (the energy used to produce the inorganic mulch) and a chemical impact (chemicals may be released as the mulch deteriorate). Nowadays, most people tend to use organic solutions.
2. Reasons for laying down the mulch
Consider two main aims for laying down and adding mulch to your garden.
- The first one is to prevent weeds.
- The second aim is to avoid moisture from evaporating quickly, thus keeping your soil watered for your plant and reducing your need to water the soil.
Black mulch can provide an answer to these two aims. Obviously, there are many different styles and types of black mulch. These include wood and rubber mulch nuggets, bark, and finally rolled mulch to remove the weed.
Each of the different mulch products has a given application such as decorative mulch, avoiding weeds, used for playgrounds, and sometimes the mulch is only used for a functional purpose (for sport or sitting down on soft mulch).
It is clear that with so many choices, you need to understand the different types and where each of these is best suited. So you need to have the right information before making your buying choice.
For instance, you’ll want to think about whether you’re mostly concerned with preventing weeds or retaining moisture.
If preventing weeds is your main goal, then a wood or bark mulch is likely your best option.
On the other hand, if retaining moisture is more important to you, then rubber or rolled mulch may be a better choice. Keep in mind that black mulches can also help keep soil temperatures cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Black Mulch Types for a perfect garden
There are different types and options of black mulch available on the market. These can be divided into two main types.
- Rolled weed barrier. You just need to unroll the product in the areas of interest. Rolled weed barriers stop weeds from growing.
- The second type is fine natural and inorganic mulch chips (chunky or not chunky). Note that the most popular inorganic type is made of recycled tires (recycled shredded rubber tires). It is durable, environmentally friendly (somehow this is what experts say), and affordable. Rubber mulch also comes in a variety of colors such as red, and yellow, but also includes black. If you are looking for a more natural look and a bio-degradable option, you can use chunky pieces of wood such as cedar. Note – The vast majority of wood mulch is nowadays derived from sustainably harvested cedar trees and has a pleasant smell. Pine bark nugget mulch is another natural wood option made from ground pine bark. It is resistant to mold and pests and helps retain moisture in the soil.
You need to check the below different options, quality, format, and raw materials before deciding which mulch to buy.
1. Blackwood chips mulch for your landscape – Organic mulch
When you are looking for something that has a dark look and is also decorative, black wood chips might be the perfect option.
These chips are made by dying regular wood chips with a carbon-based dye or an iron-oxide-based dye. They are simply dyed black.
This will give them their deep black-dyed mulch color.
They can be used in a variety of ways, such as being spread on the ground to create a walking path, being put in planters or flower beds, or being scattered around trees and other landscaping features.
You need to watch for chemical additives in the wood. It is best for you to get black hardwood chips. These are mainly produced using oak pallets.
2. Inorganic black plastic sheeting
Adding a layer of mulch using black plastic sheeting to your garden is a great way to increase the temperature of the soil.
This is why plastic sheeting is used as a functional option for those in colder climates who want to extend their growing season (or are used to start the planting season early.
They are also used by those who live in hotter climates and want to reduce the amount of water their garden needs.
The black plastic mulch can help suppress and reduces weed growth (prevent weeds from sprouting). It is widely used by local public authorities to reduce the need to cut grass, increase moisture in the soil, and provide a nice landscaping outlook solution.
3. Black rubber strips for garden bed
Black rubber strips can be a great addition to any landscape project. Not only do they look great, but they are also very durable and can last for years. Additionally, black rubber strips are best suited to landscape projects that require a natural look.
This is because they mimic the look of shredded bark, which is often used in landscaping projects. So, black rubber strips can also be a functional option for warm soil gardens and flower borders. These recycled tire strips are easy to install. They are also great for perennial borders where you want a clean edge.
4. Black mulch fabric
Black mulch fabric is made of inorganic woven polypropylene or polyethylene. It is sold in rolls approximately 3 feet wide and 250 feet long.
The black color helps keep the soil cool and moist. It also blocks light, which inhibits weed growth. In essence, black mulch fabric is a great way to keep your flower gardens and perennial beds weed-free.
The fabric is permeable, so it allows air and water to filter through and reach the soil. The black color also helps to keep the soil warm, which is beneficial for plants that grow in cooler climates.
It can be tough to keep a garden looking neat and tidy. Between weeding, watering, and planting, there’s always something to be done.
One way to make your garden look neater is by using mulch. Mulch comes in many different forms, including black mulch fabric.
We would advise you to cover the black mulch fabric with a wood chip or rubber chip cover.
By the way, it is easy to use. Just unroll it over the area you want to cover and secure it with pins or some nice small pieces of rocks.
5. Black mulch spray
Black mulch spray is not really a mulch but is used to color wood chips.
It is available as a liquid or a powder and can be diluted with water.
When diluted, you put the dye in a pump-type pistol sprayer and spray your wood chips or stones with it.
It can be used in flower beds to give a uniform appearance and to hide the soil.
This is mainly used if you already have wood chips or stones and want to change their color.
6. Black paper mulch
Black paper mulch is made of recycled paper and contains no chemicals. It is bio-degradable making it a great choice for food-producing plants.
As it contains no chemicals, it has also a short lifetime, breaking down after one season.
Black paper mulch is perfect for food-producing plants, as it does not attract pests or rodents.
7. Black shredded rubber chips
Rubber chips are created during the recycling process of tires.
The rubber is shaved off the tires and chopped into small pieces. These small pieces are known as rubber chips.
Rubber chips have a lot of benefits that other forms of recycled rubber do not have.
One of the benefits of this type of finely shredded mulch is that they do not fade like other recycled rubber products.
This is because the black color of the rubber protects it from UV rays.
Rubber chips also resist decomposition, so they will not break down over time. This makes them a great choice for outdoor applications.
Another benefit of using rubber chips is that they are a great source of insulation.
Rubber is an excellent insulator, and this can be seen in the way that chip insulation performs better than traditional hardwood soil insulation for heat and water evaporation.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Where the different types of black mulch can be used?
As seen above, there are many different types of mulch, but the most popular are black rubber mulch, black wood mulch, and black paper mulch.
Each type of black mulch has its own unique benefits and can be used in different places around your home or commercial field.
Black rubber strips and black-rubbed chips are both perfect for playgrounds (play areas) because they are soft and safe for children to play on. They also help to prevent injuries if someone falls on them.
Black wood mulch is great for landscaping because it has that natural look and feel-good factor.
On the other hand, black paper mulch is perfect for vegetable gardens because it helps to retain moisture and keep the soil and plant needs in terms of warmth in winter.
Black spray mulch is a great option for flower beds where mulch has already been laid down. You can just spray the different black colors on top of the mulch at a low cost instead of buying a completely new mulch.
because it helps to protect the plants from pests and diseases. It also keeps the soil structure moist and prevents weed growth.
However, the main advantage of using black mulch is its ability to weed control. Weeds need sunlight to grow, and the black color of the mulch blocks out light, preventing them from sprouting.
In addition, any of the above black mulch can give your vegetable garden a more decorative appeal.
Black plastic sheeting mulch is best used when you have a large area to cover. The same goes for black rubber fabric. They are easily installed in your garden, keep weeds away, your soil will remain moisturized, and your garden will still look apart.
Do black mulches contain nutrients?
Do any of the above mulches provide any benefits in terms of adding nutrients to the soil or soil health?
Studies have shown that black wood, as a biodegradable mulch solution, does release some nutrients into the soil as they decompose into some compost. However, the amounts of nutrients released are not very high.
Unfortunately, these black mulches are not generally considered to be very good sources of nutrition for plants, but still, they provide a great deterrent for bad and dangerous insects.
However, black paper contains a good level of nitrogen, which can be beneficial for plants. However, paper materials also tend to decompose quickly, which means that they might not provide long-term benefits to plants.
On the other end, all of the other types of black mulches above have zero to near-zero nutrients.
What is the lifetime of the different black mulch?
There are many types of black mulch, and each has a different lifetime.
The most common type of black mulch is made of recycled rubber tires. This type of mulch lasts the longest, about 10 years.
Black wood mulch lasts around 3 years (and up to 5 years). Obviously, it needs to be replenished more often than rubber mulch.
On the other hand, black paper mulch works well but only lasts for a year or two (maximum) before it decomposes completely. This mulch can, at times, be expensive as you also need to invest your time to replenish/replace it.
Black spray paint or fabric typically only lasts for a season or two before they need to be replaced.
Black rubber chips have a lifetime of around 5 years, though some qualities are in the low broken, with some even lasting only for a few months. Ensure you read the reviews before you buy this type of mulch.
When is the best time to lay black mulch on garden soil?
The answer to this question may depend on what you are using the black mulch for.
If you are using it as a weed barrier, then the best time to lay it is in the early spring or late winter.
This will give you plenty of time to get it down before the ground thaws and planting begins.
If you are using it as a soil amendment, then spring or fall would be the best time to lay it.
Now if you are looking to protect your plants from the winter weather, then many experts recommend laying black mulch in the late fall or early winter. This is when the temperatures are getting cooler and before ice-cold winter comes in. This will help to protect your plants and soil from the harsh winter weather.
Black mulch can also be laid in the spring, but it is important to take into account the amount of rain your area typically receives during that season. Too much water can cause the mulch to float away and wash away valuable nutrients from your soil.