Why You Need Mulch for Your Garden

Mulch is essential to the health of your garden, by providing protection to the roots throughout the year, mulch allows soil to retain moisture, and adds nutrients back into the ground. Spreading mulch is never easy, unless you have a set of quality ergonomic gardening tools from Radius, we make spreading that mulch that much easier.  Now, here are a few reasons why you need mulch for your garden possible!

The Best Way to Spread Mulch

Let’s face it, mulch is good for your plants.  If you have established landscape beds, then you need to use about an inch of new mulch per year is needed. If you haven’t mulched in several years, adding more mulch may be necessary.  Newly planted landscape beds will need about 3 extra inches of much, because it will compact with rain and exposure. The type of mulch you use will also determine the amount of mulch required.  

Common Types of Mulch


Hardwood mulch is also referred to as:

  • Living mulch
  • Composted mulch
  • Shredded hardwood mulch

Hardwood mulch goes down very dark brown and fades to a chocolate brown in 3 to 5  days. The benefit of hardwood mulch breaks down quickly and becomes good compost for your plants. Composted mulch will usually be a bit less expensive than some of the other types of mulch available on the market.


This mulch generally contains more wood fiber and is treated with one of several colors of dye to obtain the desired color. This mulch holds its color longer and is a bit chunkier in texture.  Because it is dyed, color-enhanced mulch can possibly stain concrete. Color-enhanced mulch may need to be raked out every few years because it doesn’t break down like the hardwood mulch.

Rock Mulch

Rock mulch is usually much more costly than the wood mulches. Rock mulch requires a layer of landscape fabric beneath it, as the rock can settle without a barrier. Rock mulch can cost between $60.00 to $700.00 per ton depending on quality and your area.  Although rock mulch needs to be applied less frequently, maintenance is a bit more difficult as leaves and grass clippings can accumulate and should be blown out regularly.  A major downside of rock mulch is that your plants also receive no nutritional benefits from rock mulch, as there is no composting of the mulch.

Regardless of the type of mulch you choose, don't put your mulch against the trunk of trees and your plants. When you keep your mulch depth and application controlled, you can encourage trees to root more deeply and minimize any girdling of the tree roots.