Mulch is an important part of any landscaping project. It can help to control weeds, conserve moisture, and protect plant roots.
But there are many different types of mulch available, so it is important to choose the right one for your project. Here are the results of our investigation, research, tests, and selection of 10 of the best mulches for landscaping.
Best Mulch For Landscaping Reviews In 2023
We provide the different benefits of mulch with our top 10 selected mulches as found below. Five of these mulches are Rubber inorganic types as these are great for landscaping gardens. The rationale for rubber inorganic mulch is that these are the most widely used mulch for landscaping. Overall, we have provided a mixture of organic and inorganic mulches and we would tend to prefer organic mulches. Unfortunately, in the long run, organic mulch will cost more than its counterpart inorganic.
- #1. 100% Natural Cedar Shredded Wood Shavings
- #2. Longleaf Pine Straw Roll for Landscaping
- #3. River Rock Stones, Natural Decorative Polished Mixed Pebbles Gravel Mulch
- #4. Rubberific Rubber Mulch For Landscaping
- #5. Playsafer Blue Rubber Mulch For Landscaping
- #6. KIDWISE Cedar Red Rubber Mulch For Landscaping
- #7. NuScape Rubber Mulch Nuggets For Landscaping
- #8. Yardwise Rubber Landscape Mulch
- #9. Rubberific Rubber Mulch For Landscaping
- #10. Playsafer Blue Rubber Mulch For Landscaping
#1. 100% Natural Cedar Shredded Wood Shavings
If you’re looking for a versatile product that can be used for a variety of purposes, then look no further than 100% natural cedar shavings.
If you are looking for an organic mulch that is both decorative and functional, shredded cedar bark is a great choice. It makes an attractive ground cover around plants and helps to suppress weeds. Cedar also has a natural insect-repellent quality, so it is ideal for use in the garden or around potted plants.
But the reality is that this mulch is really nice for landscaping. It is nice because it has a mix of golden and semi-reddish colors. In addition, it has a natural, subtle cedar scent, which is really nice late afternoon. You can’t miss the nice smell coming from your garden from the cedar wood.
Funny enough, this mulch is now also being used as animal bedding. Don’t hesitate to use it in your garden or put it in kitty litter. With its scent, it really absorbs smelly odors. So whether you want it for your garden or your kitty litter, this is a great product that you’ll love.
- Easy to use
- Not expensive
- Environmentally friendly
- Conserve water
- Comes with a nice smell, though some may dislike it
- May decompose slowly so nutrients are not going to the soil fast enough
- A bit expensive
#2. Longleaf Pine Straw Roll for Landscaping – Non-Colored
When you want to cover a large area with mulch, pine straw is a great option. A simple layer of mulch can help new gardens get established, and this longleaf pine straw is also great for keeping weeds at bay.
So, if you’re looking for a natural way to keep your landscape looking neat and tidy, a Longleaf Pine Straw Roll for Landscaping is a perfect choice. This product is available in non-colored straw, and it covers up to 125 square feet.
We like it because it’s also an effective way to protect your plants from frost. It’s lightweight so it doesn’t need to be hauled in heavy bags like other types of mulch. Plus, because it’s so lightweight, a longleaf pine straw roll requires much less work to install than other types of mulch.
There are a lot of reasons to love longleaf pine straws. It’s a natural product, it’s environmentally friendly, and it’s one of the best mulches for landscaping. These Longleaf pine needles are soft, so they won’t damage your plants, and they’re slow to decompose, so they’ll last a long time. This product is simply a great value for your money.
- Good water retention
- Great weed suppression
- Easy to install
- Lightweight pack
- Nicely packed
- No seeds
- Great at preventing bugs and pets
- Mayfly away if not laid properly
#3. River Rock Stones, Natural Decorative Polished Mixed Pebbles Gravel
River rock stones are natural decorative stones that can be used for landscaping, aquascaping, and vase fillers. These polished mixed pebbles and gravel are available in a variety of colors and sizes. They are an ideal choice for adding beauty and texture to your outdoor décor and landscape.
So, if you are looking for a natural and polished way to add some color and style to your landscaping or aquarium, river rock stones are a great mulch option for you. These stones come are really nice as they add colors to your garden, including red, green, and brown, and can be used to create beautiful displays in both indoor and outdoor settings.
Additionally, because they are polished, these stones make a great addition to any other mulch you are using. It is best to use fabric or plastic mulch and then lay out pebbles on top. like this, you’ll be able to remove the stones easily when you want to change the look of your garden. What’s more, these stones are long-lasting and will not deteriorate as organic mulch does.
In summary, you can use these nice pebbles for flower arrangements. You can also include the stones in vase fillers, and walkways, to make some water decorations, around ponds, exposed flooring, or even walls. We have seen these at people around swimming pool areas.
- Wide variety of natural colors and shapes
- Use for flower arrangements
- Great vase fillers
- Nice on walkways
- Great for water features & ponds
- Good for exposed aggregate flooring or walls
- Nice around swimming pool areas
- Control weeds
- Allow water to filter through
- Ideal for home decor
- Guarantee a FULL refund if you are not satisfied
- Limited quantity in each bag
#4. Super Compost 2 Pack of 8 Lb. Bags. 2 Pk.
Super Compost is best used as an organic mulch around plants. It can also be mixed with potting soil or used as a top dressing for lawns.
Using organic mulch in the form of this amazing compost will break down any kind of soil while adding valuable nutrients to the earth. It is definitely an all-natural product, making it safe for use around your garden and plants. They come in 2 bags of mulch. Each 2-pack of 8 lb. bags makes up 80 lbs. of super compost, so you can get your garden ready for the spring planting season.
There are no GMOs in this product, and it is Bee as well as Butterfly friendly. All in all, a great mulch that adds strong nutrients, nice color, and is easy to use. This mulch won’t fade in the sun as others do. It’s best to use it in and around plants.
- Easy to use
- Easy to spread
- Good value
- Control weeds
- Water filter through
- Not natural
#5. Heavy Duty Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric for Outdoor Gardens
Weed Barrier Fabric is a non-woven fabric made from synthetic materials that help to prevent the growth of weeds by blocking sunlight and wind. It can be used as a standalone product or as part of a mulch layer. When used in gardens, it is usually placed over the soil and around plants, trees, and other landscaping features.
This mulch controls the environment and is made of heavy-duty professional-grade polypropylene material. It is chemical-free, made of durable materials, sturdy, and of course corrosion resistant.
Overall, it is an eco-friendly solution preventing unwanted weeds from germinating without the use of chemicals. It is fabricated with a novel needle-punched technology that allows water and air to circulate, thus preserving soil moisture.
What we like about this mulch is that it has an Erosion Control Efficiency. Basically, as the mulch is fabricated with needle-punched technology, water will go through the mulch, but slowly. So your soil will not be disappearing with the rain through to the drain. Obviously, the mulch is UV Stabilized and will last much more than 5 years in direct sunlight.
You can use it as a weed blocker, in a vegetable patch, for a flower bed, for landscaping your garden, near driveways, etc. It is easily laid out and you do not need special tools for this or much mulch to make the difference. It is one of the best mulch types if you go for inorganic and works very well with stones.
- Weed Control Environment Friendly
- Sturdy and corrosion resistant
- Eco-friendly preventing unwanted weeds
- No chemicals added
- Keep your soil healthy with moist
- Needle-punched to transmit water and air, Superior permeability to keep the soil nourished
- Erosion Control Efficiency
- Quickly to install
- Corrosion Resistant – UV Stabilized
- Last More Than 5 Years In Direct Sunlight
- Water Cleaning To Be Reusable
- Not natural polypropylene Material
#6. KIDWISE Cedar Red Rubber Mulch For Landscaping
For those who are interested in the best mulch for landscaping, we think you should take a deeper look at the KIDWISE Cedar Red Rubber Mulch.
This is a rubber mulch that looks beautiful and has a long-lasting red cedar color that lasts for years.
There is zero maintenance and it doesn’t collect weeds or pests. Also, the price is right and we think that it is a bargain at retail price.
For a safer and more stylish alternative to wood mulch, try KIDWISE Cedar Red Rubber Mulch.
This type of mulch is made from 100% recycled rubber tires and is excellent for landscaping.
So, for those in the market for the best mulch for landscaping and playgrounds, you can easily turn to the KIDWISE Cedar Red Rubber Mulch. In our opinion, it is one of the best looking and lasts quite a long time.
According to the company, the color lasts for up to 12 years and can take a lot of wear and tear. We haven’t really put it up to the long-term durability test since we don’t have 12 years.
However, what we can say is that from talking to others who have used the KIDWISE that it definitely does last a really long time and is a great set-it-and-forget-it type project.
Also, it is nice to know that this type of rubber mulch does not attract insects and it certainly does a great job of preventing unwanted weeds from growing.
- Provides a clean area for play
- Gives children a splinter-free surface for play
- 99.9%steel free
- Made of recycled rubber
- Available in a wide variety of colors
- Each pallet covers around 300 SF 3 inches deep
- Comply with ASTM 1292.99 guidelines for safety surfacing guidelines
- Price could be high depending on the surface covered
#7. NuScape Rubber Mulch Nuggets For Landscaping
Next up, we have the NuScape Rubber Mulch Nuggets, which is the best mulch for landscaping if you want something that minimizes dust and the growth of moss and unwanted weeds.
What really sets this apart from the rest of the competition is that it just has this ability to remain pristine without too much maintenance work.
What we mean is this rubber mulch does collect annoying pests, termites, or damaging ants, and it certainly doesn’t let too much dust in or let moss and fungi grow.
The color remains vibrant for a while and will make your garden or landscape shine with brilliance from the lack of junk inside.
- Easy to use
- Value for money
- Filter water through
- Control soil temperature
- Moist retention
- Not natural mulch
#8. Yardwise Rubber Mulch for Your Garden
The mulch comes in a variety of colors, so you can find the perfect one to match your landscape. It is also well suited for any climate, making it a great choice for homeowners in all parts of the country.
One pallet of mulch can cover 72-75 cubic feet, making it a great value for your money.
So, for those who like landscaping and don’t want to do too much work every year in maintaining a beautiful yard and garden, the Yardwise Rubber Mulch could be a really nice option.
While this stuff comes at a crazy premium price tag, please just keep in mind how much you are getting as it is enough to fill up 450 square feet of land.
What most people like about this rubber mulch is that it is incredibly durable and will not float or blow away in bad weather conditions, which can be a problem with other brands.
Also, this mulch rubber really does a good job of dehydrating weed seeds so they basically die off before they have the time to germinate.
- Easy to use
- Filter water through
- Control soil temperature
- Moist retention
- One pallet covers 72-75 cubic feet
- Covers 450 square feet 2 inches deep
- The color is Mocha Brown
- Allows 100% of Water and Fertilizer to reach the Soil
- Does not attract Insects
- Safe around all plants
- Not natural mulch
#9. Rubberific Rubber Type of Mulch For Landscaping
This particular Rubber mulch is more durable and long-lasting than any other type of natural mulch. As such, it makes it a great choice for playgrounds and other high-traffic areas.
It is also non-toxic, making it a safe option for children and pets.
Rubber mulch is available in a range of colors, so you can choose the perfect match for your landscape design.
It is easy to install and requires no maintenance, making it a convenient choice for busy homeowners.
Sure it is definitely not 100% like soil but it is close enough when viewed from a distance. Also, it is pretty non-toxic and environmentally friendly, which is nice to know.
We really like that it will this shredded rubber mulch does a great job of not shedding its color for years, so you don’t have to worry about replacing it anytime soon.
Overall, we say that the Rubberific strikes the right balance between maintaining a long-lasting color and keeping the weeds or other junk out.
- Perfect for pathways
- Easy to spread
- Enhanced shock absorption
- Cost co-friendly solution
- Best for around plants and less so for children’s playground
#10. Playsafer Blue Rubber Colored Mulch For Landscaping
Well, look no further than blue rubber mulch.
Made from recycled scrap tires, this mulch is 99.9% steel-free and provides 3″ of coverage for 310 square feet.
It’s also backed by a 12-year color guarantee.
So, though this is the last product we feature here, we have the Playsafer Blue Rubber Mulch For Landscaping as a really great for landscaping because it requires little to no maintenance.
We really like it because it dries really quickly after rain and will not decompose at all over time.
At most, it will lose some color over the years but that’s about it.
We really like that there are plenty of wild and creative colors to pick from so you certainly can’t go wrong with any of them.
The only problem is that they only sell in bulk.
So if you have a big project and need a lot of space covered, like over 50 cubic feet of landscaping, the Playsafer Rubber Mulch should be right up your alley.
- Safe for playground
- Perfect for daycare centers, schools, and park districts
- 99.9% steel-free 100% recycled scrap tires
- Provides 3″ of coverage for 310 square feet
- Color guaranteed for 12 yrs
- Delivered on a pallet with 50 individual 40 lbs. bags
- Enhanced shock absorption
- Cost co-friendly solution
- Shipment can be expensive
Final Verdict on landscape mulch materials
Rubber mulch is the most widely used mulch landscaping material for homes and public areas. It is safe to use and helps keep the yard looking neat and tidy. There are a variety of colors to choose from, so homeowners can find the perfect fit for their homes.
Each of the five types of rubber mulch for landscaping has its own benefits. KIDWISE Cedar Red Rubber Mulch is a great choice for moderate climates, while NuScape Rubber Mulch Nuggets is perfect for those who want to avoid using nails or staples when installing mulch.
Yardwise Rubber Landscape Mulch is a great option if you have pets or small children, as it is non-toxic and safe to play on. Rubberific is cheap while Playsafe is for large landscaping.
What is the best mulch for landscaping – A Buying Guide
When it comes to mulching your garden to create a nice and livable landscape, there are a variety of materials you can use. You need to make a decision as to which of these materials you’ll use. Fortunately, these can be regrouped into two main categories of mulches:
Organic mulches include materials like:
- Bark mulch
- Wood chips / shredded wood
- Grass clipping
- Pine needles
- Pine bark
- Tree leaves
Inorganic mulches include materials like:
- Black plastic (or other color plastic)
1. Organic mulches
Organic mulches break down over time, adding organic matter to the soil. Inorganic mulches don’t break down and can last for many years. Both types of mulch have their pros and cons, so it’s important to choose the right type for your needs.
In essence, organic mulches are beneficial for the environment because they help keep moisture in the soil, which reduces erosion. They also provide nutrients to the soil as they decompose. Inorganic mulches are beneficial because they help prevent weeds from growing and can keep the soil cool in the summer months.
If you choose to buy organic mulch, then you need to understand its composition, differences, and features as well as benefits. Below are some of the most common organic mulches, with their descriptions and usefulness for landscaping.
1.a – Shredded Hardwood mulch for landscaping
Shredded hardwood is one of the best mulches for landscaping, as it is easily spread and long-lasting. This workhorse product is made from a variety of wood types, including pine, oak, and maple. Shredded Hardwood mulch is an organic mulch. It is a popular landscaping mulch because it is visually attractive to the eye and decomposes slowly, adding nutrients to the soil as it decomposes.
It comes in natural or colored options. Shredded hardwood mulch is ideal for use in flower beds, around trees and shrubs, and in other garden areas. It helps to suppress weeds, retain moisture, and protect plants from extreme temperatures, cold or hot. Depending on the type of tree used to produce the mulch, it can be used as an insect (bad one) deterrent.
All in all, hardwood mulch does not harm your garden. The only time can harm it is when you use toxic non-natural-colored shredded hardwood. In this case, read the composition and see if and when the wood decomposes, it does not create an unhealthy environment.
1.b – Straw and pine straw organic mulch for landscaping
There are many types of mulch to choose from, but straw and pine straw are two popular options for landscaping.
Straw mulch is made of hay or straw that has been chopped into small pieces. It is an organic mulch, so it will break down over time and add nutrients to the soil. Straw mulch is a good choice for areas where you want to allow weeds to grow, as it will not kill all the weeds but, still will inhibit their growth. It also helps to prevent erosion and moisture loss. Note that straw adds this nice golden look to your garden.
Pine straw mulch is made of needles that have been chopped into small pieces. Like straw, pine straw is an organic mulch that will break down over time and add nutrients to the soil. These pine straw mulches are nice and work very well in dry areas. However, they are not the best as a moisture retention solution when compared to inorganic plastic. However, they allow air circulation, which is essential to your soil.
1.c – Compost mulch for your garden
Compost mulch is just a great fertilizer. Using this mulch is a great way to improve the soil in your garden. Not only does laying it out add nutrients to your plants, but it also provides a great black color touch to your landscape. Note that there are two main colors to compost, black and brown color composts.
Mulching with compost also helps retain soil moisture, keeping your plants healthy during hot summer days and cold winter nights. You can either purchase compost mulch or make your own by using compost from your garden or kitchen scraps. Be sure to use black Compost to help warm the soil in winter, improve drainage, and get a great landscape around your garden.
2. Inorganic mulches
Unfortunately, inorganic mulch does not provide any nutrients. However, on the good side, you do not need to replace this mulch every few months (saving money in the long term). On the other hand, organic mulch needs to be replaced every so often (every few months to every few years depending on the type of mulch). So the cost of inorganic mulch materials will be higher in the long run.
In addition, inorganic mulch is sometimes man-made such as plastic mulch (black plastic mulch and red mulch), also known as landscape fabric solutions. These do, at times, degrade slowly when used as garden beds. During their decomposition, they leave some chemicals in the ground. So, our advice is to stay away from inorganic plastic mulch.
If you decide to use inorganic mulches, then you need to understand their impact on wildlife or on your landscape. Below provide some clues on these points for you to make an informed decision.
2.a – Stones and dye river rocks type of mulch
Stones and river rocks are popular mulches for landscaping. Gardeners love them because they look nice, keep the weeds down, and don’t wash away in a rainstorm. However, they do have a few drawbacks.
The biggest problem with stones and river rocks is that they can mix with your soil. Say that one day you want to remove the stone mulch, you’ll surely have some left in the soil for years to come. So if you decide to use stones, ensure that you lay out a plastic mulch first. In this way, when you want to remove them, you’ll not have stones in your soil.
The other problem with stones is that they do not provide or contribute any nutrients to the soil. Also, they overheat in the summer (accumulate heat), which can dry out the soil a little faster (if you do not have a layer of plastic or fabric mulch laid out below the stone).
A really good side to using stones or river rock as mulch is that they cannot be washed away in a rainstorm. If you live in an area that experiences frequent rains, you won’t need to replace the mulch. Another good point is found in that you can dye or paint your stones every year, meaning you can change the landscape by just changing the color of your stones. And stone as dyed mulch for your garden costs very little.
Finally, colored mulch may have some bad chemicals in the painting. Always check that the paint used to dye your rocks is a naturally friendly one.
2.b – Landscape plastic fabric mulch for gardeners
If you are new to gardening or have been frustrated with weed growth in your garden, you may want to try using landscape fabric mulch. A layer of this fabric mulch can help suppress weed growth and keep the soil cool and moist. But you need to know that this mulch does not add any organic matter to the soil as it does not decompose easily.
This is why you need to choose carefully the fabric mulch you want to use. Be sure to select one that will not harm plants. To be honest, these fabric types of mulches are usually used by professional gardeners in public gardens. These reduce the costs of installation, and in the long run, there is no need to replace them on a yearly basis as they last for about 5 years.
This is the best mulch for your yard if you want little to no interaction with your garden. It is easy to install and needs virtually no maintenance. Fabric mulch is also good for both water and air. It provides water retention and airflow through it for plants and soil aeration.
There are other common points to organic and inorganic mulch that you need to take into account when buying mulch. These are:
- Effectiveness in visual aspect
Mulch is an essential material for maintaining the health of any garden or flower bed. The quality of the mulch is crucial in ensuring it retains water and keeps the soil moist. A good quality mulch must also help control weeds, which in turn helps reduce water loss due to the competition between the plants and weeds. In addition to this, quality mulch will act as an insulator that maintains the soil temperature to an appropriate level (warm in winter, cool in summer).
In essence, the use of good quality mulch not only helps to hold moisture in the soil but also makes it easier for water to penetrate the soil. This is because the mulch acts as a barrier between the soil and the direct sunlight. The use of high-quality mulch can make all the difference in maintaining a healthy garden, protecting and nourishing the plants, and ensuring an aesthetically pleasing result.
When it comes to purchasing mulch products, the price is an important factor to consider. It is essential to determine how much you are willing to spend beforehand to ensure that you do not break your budget. Keep in mind that in the long run, inorganic mulch is more cost-effective as it is long-lasting.
However, if you prefer using organic materials, note that they require yearly maintenance, which adds to the yearly cost. Mulch keeps your soil moist and suppresses weed growth. So it is advisable to use mulches to prevent herbicide usage and to promote plant growth. By using organic mulch, you’ll at least reduce the cost of herbicides to your wallet and equally to the negative side effect of herbicides cost to the environment.
3. Effectiveness in the visual aspect
Mulch will have a significant impact on the visual aspect of a garden or landscape. And this can be a positive as well as a negative visual aspect. So before you buy any mulch, consider the color and the visual effect. In essence, one of the fundamental benefits of mulching is that, when laid out, it looks nice to the eye. There are numerous types of mulch available on the market, and each can give a particular look to your landscape. For example, bark mulch gives a natural, earthy look, while colored mulch can add an eye-catching pop of color.
Note that mulch can also provide a uniform and tidy appearance that can help tie together your lawn or garden. Fresh, dark, and rich mulch gives a well-groomed feeling to your yard. Additionally, mulch can be placed in garden beds and around trees, creating a clean and polished look. Moreover, by using mulch in your landscape, you can avoid unsightly weeds and preserve the neat appearance of your garden. Overall, mulch is a cost-efficient and effective way to enhance the visual appeal of your landscape and maintain it.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Where and why use rubber mulch nuggets?
The most common use for rubber mulch is a playground so that children can play without hurting themselves.
Basically, a playground is a fun place for children to spend time, but it’s also an important part of their development. A well-maintained playground provides children with a safe space to explore, play and learn.
One of the most important features of a playground is the ground cover. If the ground is too hard or uneven, it can be dangerous for children. That’s why rubber mulch nuggets are such an important part of playground safety. Rubber mulch nuggets are made from recycled tires, so they’re environmentally friendly and safe for children. They’re also soft and cushioning, which helps to protect against injuries if a child falls.
Now, these nuggets are also used for landscaping projects. They are used instead of organic mulch because they last longer, are low in cost, and some say they are environmentally friendly as we reuse tires (instead of dumping them).
Nowadays, many gardens can benefit from rubber mulch as it lasts much longer than any other type of mulch. They also do not lose color when exposed to strong heat and sunlight. Overall, we feel that mulch made from tires is a long from being truly environmentally friendly. But tires help make long-lasting mulch, reduce weeds like any other mulch, and definitely are cost-effective.
Is rubber mulch good for landscaping?
Yes and No. Rubber mulch is a popular landscaping choice for many homeowners, but whether or not it is good for landscaping depends on what you’re looking for. On the one hand, rubber mulch provides excellent insulation from heat, doing a great job of protecting plants from high temperatures. Added to this, you can choose your mulch color, like red dyed mulch, but the dye is chemically produced, thus the chemicals will end up in your garden.
Rubber mulch is popular in playgrounds, where it provides a soft and safe surface for children to play on. Again, it’s worth noting that rubber mulch is not an environmentally friendly choice. It is made from non-biodegradable materials, which means that it can take a very long time to decompose and has the potential to cause harm to local ecosystems if not disposed of properly. As such, whether or not rubber mulch is a good choice for your landscape will depend on your priorities and values.
Is mulch good for landscaping?
Yes, mulch is widely considered a great addition to any landscaping project. It comes in many different materials, such as bark nuggets, cypress mulch, cocoa bean mulch, and even wood chips. These mulches all have their own unique characteristics but all provide advantages to landscaping projects. For instance, mulch serves as an insulator for your soil, keeping it at a consistent temperature which can increase moisture retention. This helps roots grow and soil decay while reducing the need for frequent watering.
Mulch also suppresses weeds by creating a barrier and depriving the weed seeds of necessary sunlight. Furthermore, as the mulch breaks down (organic type), it adds fertility to the soil, providing the necessary nutrients to your plants. Choosing the right type of mulch for your project depends on the area you live in, climate, and more, but using mulch instead of leaving exposed dirt can improve your landscaping project by keeping soil temperatures consistent, suppressing weeds, and adding vital nutrients to the soil.