Why do so many people choose mulch for garden paths? What are the benefits? How does it outweigh other landscape materials when it comes to practicality and function? Is there really that big a difference, other than appearance? What else can mulch do for your garden when it lines your pathways?
Less weeding than grass paths plus….
Having grass between garden plants can be tedious. The paths must be the right width for the lawn-mower to pass through. Weeds present a bigger problem with grass paths. You can’t put weed block under grass, like you can with mulch. Plus, when you use chemicals for weed control on your grass paths, they can seep into your garden.
-Think chemicals are only a problem if you’re growing veggies?
Think again. Those chemicals can kill bees and other pollinators we depend on for our survival.
Mulch is lighter than gravel for paths
Would you rather carry ten wheelbarrows full of gravel or ten wheelbarrows full of mulch? Mulch is much easier to shovel and carry. No landscape material lasts forever, either. Eventually, whether you use mulch or something else, you’ll have to replace it. That means doing all that shoveling and transporting all over again.
Mulch doesn’t just line your garden paths. It holds in moisture for your plants. In drought years, this can be very important. What else? Even if there’s no water shortage, mulch will save you time and money watering. Plus, when the mulch has outlived it’s usefulness, it can be added to the compost pile. Gravel, recycled tires and other hardscape materials don’t share that benefit.
Doubles light blockage
Using mulch atop landscape fabric lengthens weed control fabric life. It helps block the light. It cuts down on fabric wear and tear due to footpath traffic. Of course, other materials have similar benefits. It’s just that mulch is lighter and less jagged than rock or gravel. So, it’s also less likely to tear the cloth.