There are many factors that can influence mulch prices. The most important issue is usually the type of mulch chosen. There are endless varieties of mulch available and the best one for your garden will most likely depend on the soil type. In this article we will offer some advice on mulch prices and costs, as well as how often the mulches should be reapplied to the soil.
To save money and take that extra step towards a greener lifestyle, using your own yard waste is the most economical method of mulching your garden. Saving your lawn clippings and leaves won’t cost anything. Simply keep them in a compost bin or similar container and use them as you need them. This method of mulching will help add beneficial nutrients to the soil and improve its structure.
Straw and Hay
Moving up in cost from yard waste, the next most expensive option is straw and hay. These provide many advantages for soil. Straw and hay both work well for lawns that are seeded and for vine plants in the early part of their season. Bulk buying is an option with straw and hay to keep prices low. The only disadvantage with straw and hay is that they decompose quite rapidly. They will have to be reapplied every year.
Pine Bark and Needles
Moving up further from straw and hay, there is pine bark and needles. Bark mulches provide several advantages to acidic soils, and the needles offer a mulching method that allows rain to penetrate through. Bark mulches can attract other bugs and insects due to the odors they give off.
This type of mulch is quite light, so in windy areas it has a tendency to be blown away, meaning that it may have to be reapplied frequently.
Rubber mulch is becoming a favorite amongst gardeners. Rubber mulch runs about the same in price as many of the bark mulches available. It is also available in a wide variety of colors, so individual tastes can be considered. Rubber mulch helps to prevent rotting and will not attract insects. Also, because rubber mulch is inorganic, it will not break down for decades. It can be cleaned and recycled many times over.
Plastic ranges greatly in price, from slightly more than rubber mulch to absolutely free if you recycle carefully. Plastic mulch is very effective in raising the soil temperature and extending the growing season in early spring or late autumn. It is also excellent mulch for keeping weeds at bay. Plastic mulch will not add any nutrients to the soil or change its make up. It is, however, inorganic and like rubber mulch can be recycled over and over again.
There are endless varieties of mulch available. The one best suited for your garden will depend largely on the climate and soil type. Reapplication amounts will depend largely on the type of mulch. Organic mulches will break down and have to be replaced quite frequently. Inorganic mulches will last for decades and can be recycled for many years.