5 Best Wood Mulch Reviews in 2024 – Buying Guide & FAQ

When it comes to choosing the right type of mulch for your needs, there are many options to choose from and surely you want the best wood mulch on the market.

The type of mulch you choose for your garden should be based on your needs and what will work nicely for your plants.

But how do you know which one is the best for your needs? Here is a look at five popular types of wood mulch and what each has to offer. We then provide 5 of the finest wood mulch products for you to choose from.

5 Best types of wood mulch Reviews in 2024

There are many different types of wood mulch that can be used for landscaping. Some of the most popular types of wood mulch are bark, leaves, needles, and shavings. Each type of mulch has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to choose the right one for your specific needs.

Below we provide 5 of the best wood mulch out there.

#1. Organic MECHANICS Hardwood Bark Mulch – Best Biodegradable For Landscape

Organic Mechanics Hardwood Bark Mulch is the perfect solution for mulching any garden area. Made from high-quality, all-natural, organic materials, it’s safe to use around kids and pets. This dark, rich mulch provides an attractive layer that looks great in your garden while also serving the important function of retaining soil moisture.

Hardwood bark is a preferred mulch material due to its durability and ability to decompose gradually, building your soil’s organic matter as it feeds the soil. Organic Mechanics Hardwood Bark Mulch is triple-shredded, making it a great option for garden beds, adding a natural and rustic look to your spaces.

When it comes to quality and performance, it’s best to choose a product that delivers real results, allows for proper water retention, and looks great at the same time. Choose Organic Mechanics Hardwood Bark Mulch, and experience the benefits of using the best organic materials.



  • Need to be replenished yearly

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#2. Timberline Bark Hardwood Mulch – Best Hardwood

Next up, we have the Timberline Hard Wood Bark Mulch, which is the best wood mulch if you are looking for one of the most common varieties of mulch and need an all-purpose option.

Many people really like it because it decomposes incredibly quickly and gives you really good drainage for placing over some existing plants and flowers.

Furthermore, it does a really good job of preventing watering and gives your garden a really nice-looking backdrop.

It goes without saying that it also protects your garden from cold weather, heat, and rain.

Perhaps its real standout feature is the fact that it really does an amazing job of preventing weed control and helps maintain healthy root systems in your garden.


  • Sustainable
  • Provide temperature control
  • Keeps the soil moist
  • Reduce weeds
  • Easy to use
  • Can be used for most plants
  • Nice color


  • A bit expensive

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#3. Scotts Growing Media Brown Wood Mulch – Best Brown Wood

Another very nice option when it comes to the best wood mulch is the Scoots Growing Media Brown Wood Mulch.

Scotts is a widely known brand in this industry and we wholly vouch for it.

We think the best part about this brown wood mulch is the color guard, which basically helps it maintain its amazing brown color for at least a good year, making your garden nice and pretty.

In terms of overall efficacy, Scotts Growing Media performs in line with everything that a standard run-of-the-mill mulch would do.

Basically, there is nothing exceptional here. So what we are trying to say is that the vibrant long-lasting color is truly a nice standout feature that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you want this, Scotts is your best bet.


  • Color Guard keeps color lasting all year
  • Can be used around trees
  • Shrubs and flowers love it
  • Can be applied in vegetable gardens after seeds have germinated
  • Maintain soil moist
  • Good temperature control


  • The amount of mulch is small
  • A bit expensive

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#4. Terrafirma Chocolate Dyed Bark Mulch – Best Dyed Bark

Terrafirma Chocolate Dyed Bark MulchThe Terrafirma Chocolate Dyed Bark Mulch is certainly a very nice mom-and-pop brand that should definitely not be overlooked.

We really like this brand because they just use the best quality bark wood out there.

Everything is top quality and the company never seems to skimp on quality by adding in cheap fillers.

This shredded bark is in the form of wood chips and is dyed with this non-toxic chocolate-colored dye.

It has a beautiful color that is pretty long-lasting and is great at retaining water in the soil.

For this wood mulch, we ask you to not judge a book by its cover. It is clearly one of the better quality brands out there and we ask you to give them a chance.


  • Support weed suppression
  • Nice rich color to flower beds
  • Helps retain water
  • Non-toxic wood dye – dark brown chocolate color
  • Packaged in buckets for your convenience


  • Often out of stock

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#5. Mighty Shredded Red Wood Mulch – Best Red Wood

Shredded Red Wood MulchLastly, we have the Mighty Shredded Red Wood Mulch, which is a 100% redwood mulch that basically replicates the natural mulch found on forest floors.

The best part about this brand and the standout feature is that it is all-natural without any sort of artificial dye or coloring.

It is quite rare to find some all-natural these days.

The color will definitely last quite a long time because it is non-dyed.

And it goes without saying that this stuff is great at helping to regulate soil temperatures.

Overall, this red-wood mulch is great for landscapers and gardeners who want an all-natural product that will result in numerous benefits to the garden.


  • 100% Natural Redwood Mulch
  • Great in landscapes and pathways
  • Durable material
  • Helps prevent soil erosion
  • Regulate soil temperatures
  • Reduce weed growth
  • Conserve moisture


  • Could look messy if not laid properly

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Final Verdict

US Mulch Co’s and Timberline Hard Wood Bark Mulch are both really good choices. However, Scotts Growing Media Brown Wood Mulch is a good budget-friendly option if you are financially constrained.

Terrafirma Chocolate Dyed Bark Mulch is a great choice if you’re looking for colorful mulch. Finally, choosing the Mighty Shredded Red Wood Mulch is the perfect solution for those who want a durable mulch that will last for years.

Overall, they are all high-quality products that will help you achieve the look you want in your garden.

What are the Different Types of Wood Mulch to Consider When Buying Wood Mulch for Lanscaping – A Buying Guide

When it comes to mulching your garden, there are endless options of materials to choose from.

From organic materials like compost or straw to inorganic materials like gravel or plastic, the right mulch for your garden depends on the conditions of your soil and plants.

Wood mulch is some of the best mulch you can find out there. However, one needs to know the different types of wood mulches to make a choice. Here are 5 most common different types of wood mulch that can be used in your garden:

  1. Bark Mulch
  2. Cedar mulch nugget
  3. Natural Colored Type of Mulch
  4. Colored Type of Wood Mulch
  5.  Pine Peelings or Shavings of Mulch

1. Bark Mulch

Bark mulch is a great way to improve the appearance of your garden while also protecting your plants from the elements.

The bark helps to control the temperature, moisture, and oxygen levels in the soil, which can be beneficial for your plants.

Additionally, the mulch can help to suppress weed growth and prevent erosion.

Bark wood is also great as it adds organic matter which improves the soil’s fertility. Note that the best time to apply bark mulch is in late fall or early winter before the ground freezes.

Be sure to spread it evenly and keep it away from plants’ stems.

The only downside of this mulch is that it often comes in large chips, hence decomposing really slowly. Our advice is to find shredded bark if you can. If you do, then the shredded bark will decompose a bit fast, reduce weed even more than chips and trap moisture more effectively.

2. Cedar mulch nugget

One of the most popular and best types of mulch is cedar mulch nuggets. In essence, Cedar mulch has a variety of benefits that make it a great choice for many gardens.

Cedar mulch has a little secret natural oil that helps repel insects. It is just an ideal wood mulch if you want to keep termites at bay.

It is also a really good mulch solution used to retain moisture in the soil. This is why you’ll find it widely used in hot climates where water is in short supply.

Like any other mulch, it also helps to suppress weeds, keeping your garden looking neat and tidy. Additionally, cedar mulch has a pleasant smell that can help to keep pests away.

On the negative side, cedar mulch is a little pricey when compared to other wood mulch. But when you consider its benefits, it certainly is worth every penny.

So, if you’re looking for an attractive and functional mulch for your garden, cedar mulch is a great option.

3. Natural Colored Type of Mulch

Natural-colored mulch is just a standard wood mulch that is simply not dyed with chemical colors.

It has a natural color like brown, black, red, or even yellowish.

The main positive point about this mulch is that it is cheap compared to colored mulches.

Note that you’ll find that it has the same characteristics as other mulches. These include weed reduction, moisture retention, and decomposition with fertilizer properties.

4. Colored Type of Wood Mulch

One type of mulch that is growing in popularity is colored wood mulch. Colored wood mulch comes in a variety of colors, including black, brown, green, and red. But the color is most of the time a chemical additive.

This type of mulch has the same advantages and benefits as other mulches. The only problem is that when it decomposes, you’ll be left with some unwanted chemicals in your garden.

The main benefit of colored mulch is that you can choose the color to disguise some aspects of your garden and some particular weeds too.

5. Pine Peelings or Shavings of Mulch

Both pine peelings mulch and pine shavings mulch are the same things and as such share the same benefits.

Basically, they are the by-product leftover of the pine wood milling processes.

The leftovers, also known as the shavings are collected, and packed nicely to then be sold in bulk as wood mulch.

These leftover mulches were not really popular in the past, but they are now being highly thought after because they are affordable and they get the job done in an effective way.

The pine mulch is slow to decompose, which means it will last for several seasons if applied properly.

It also helps to retain moisture in the soil, and it can moderate soil temperature, making it a good choice for gardens in both cold and warm climates.

So, if you are looking for a quick and easy way to provide mulch for your garden, pine shavings mulch is a good option. Note that if you can add shredded pine needles to the pine shaving mulch, then you’ll be adding a great fertilizer high in nitrogen.

So, ensure you add pine bark mulch and shavings to your mulch arsenal as these are a good choice for plants that need more nitrogen, such as vegetables.

FAQ about different types of wood mulch

Below is our response to a set of frequently asked questions we received.

How thick should hardwood mulch be?

We’ve seen above that mulching is an important part of landscaping and can provide many benefits, such as weed control and water conservation.

However, there’s one critical element that you must take into account. It is the thickness of the mulch layer. A too-thin layer will negatively affect how well mulch performs these functions.

It is clear that the experts agree a 2-3 inch layer of mulch is generally recommended.

However, there’s nothing wrong if you put a thicker layer.

How to mulch any type of wood?

When it comes to mulching your garden, there are a variety of materials you can use. One of the most popular is wood mulch. Not only does it help the soil retain moisture and nutrients, but it can also give your garden a decorative touch. Here’s how to mulch wood:

  1. Decide what type of wood to use. You can use hardwood or softwood, but avoid using treated lumber, as the chemicals in the treatment may be harmful to plants.
  2. Cut the wood into small pieces with a saw. The smaller the pieces, the faster they will decompose.
  3. Spread the wood chips around your plants, making sure to cover the entire area. You can either do this by hand or with a rake.
  4. Repeat every few weeks or so, adding more mulch will add nutrients. The more nutrients to the soil, the better and more healthy soil you’ll get.

Where to use wood chips?

When it comes to landscaping, many people think of using wood chips as mulch.

This is a great use for them, but there are other places you can use them, too.

Here are four ideas where you can use organic mulch from wood chips:

  1. Around trees and shrubs – This will help keep the soil moist and protect the roots from being disturbed.
  2. In flower beds – The chips will help suppress weed growth and retain moisture in the soil.
  3. As a path or walkway – A wood chip path is not only esthetically pleasing, but it’s also functional; it helps to keep moisture in the soil and prevents muddy boots.
  4. In a compost bin – Wood chips make great additions to compost piles because they help to break down organic matter quickly.

What is the best wood mulch for playgrounds?

When it comes to mulching playgrounds, there are a few factors to consider.

One of the most important is the safety of children who will be playing on the equipment.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, rubber mulch is the best option for mulching playgrounds.

Rubber mulch is made from recycled tires and is soft enough to cushion falls, but also tough enough to prevent injuries from occurring.

But there are a number of wood mulch used for playgrounds – These are used around the playground, around the trees most of the time. The hardwood chip is highly unlikely to be used where children play.

One option is cypress mulch. Cypress mulch is a good choice because it doesn’t contain any toxins and it’s also resistant to decay. It’s also relatively affordable.

Another option is cedar mulch. Cedar mulch is also resistant to decay and pests, making it a good choice for playgrounds. However, cedar mulch can be expensive compared to other options.

A third option is hardwood mulch. Hardwood mulch is a good choice for playgrounds because it’s durable and helps regulate the soil temperature. However, it can be expensive and difficult to find in some areas.

Doesn’t wood mulch “rob” nitrogen from garden soil?

You may be wondering if using wood mulch will rob nitrogen from the soil.

The answer is no – in fact, wood mulch is an excellent fertilizer. It can actually help improve soil fertility by providing organic matter and releasing nutrients over time.

So you are safe in using hardwood or softwood chips in your landscape.

What’s better rubber mulch or wood mulch?

When you are considering mulching your garden, the first decision you have to make is what type of mulch to use. Rubber mulch and wood mulch are two of the most popular types, but which one is better?

There are pros and cons to both rubber and wood mulches. Rubber mulch is made from recycled tires, so it is environmentally friendly. It also does not decompose like wood mulch, so it lasts longer. However, rubber mulch can be more expensive than wood mulch.

Wood mulch is made from natural materials and is therefore biodegradable. It also tends to be less expensive than rubber mulch. However, it will decompose over time, which means you will have to replace it more often.




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