When looking to transform your landscape you have many different options available to you. At times the options can seem overwhelming, however taking the time to learn about which products are truly best for your needs will allow you to love the end result.
We’ve found that many homeowners and contractors in Bergen County are unsure of the differences between mulch and lava rocks and which is best for their landscapes.
We’ve decided to delve into each option and provide our thoughts on each product for use in your flowerbeds, walkways and around plant life.
Overall they’re both great options that can add unmatched beauty, however they both provide unique benefits that you may find meets certain needs best.
Benefits of Mulch in Your Landscape
There’s a reason why mulch has been so popular with gardeners throughout the years – it’s effective. A layer of wood chips can work very well as a barrier against the sun, preventing moisture in the soil from evaporating.
At the same time, mulch is able to absorb and retain water, slowly releasing it into the earth and surrounding plants. This stops water from flooding the vegetation, while still guaranteeing that plants receive ample moisture.
As an organic compound, mulch also breaks down and decomposes over time. This process replenishes the soil with nutrients and promotes healthy vegetation. Keep in mind that in areas subject to high winds or foot traffic, it’s smart to use an edging material around the mulch to prevent it from blowing away.
Benefits of Lava Rocks in Your Landscape
Gardeners who are looking for a more permanent solution for their mulching needs are realizing the advantages of lava rocks. These unique stones are rough and porous, which enables them to quickly absorb and retain both moisture and heat. This is good for two reasons.
First, the lava rocks are acting in much the same way as mulch – blocking moist soil from the sun and retaining additional water. Secondly, the stones can hold warmth from the sun during the day and then redistribute it into the soil during the cooler evenings. This helps to maintain consistent soil and plant temperatures.
One of the benefits that lava rocks provide over mulch is that they don’t decompose, which means that they don’t need to be replaced every year. They also tend to be heavy enough that they won’t blow away during storms or when using a leaf blower.
We do recommend placing the stones either 1 inch below the ground’s surface or using an edging material to avoid displacement in areas with heavy foot traffic.
Lava Rocks vs Mulch: Which is Right For You?
Once you can see the benefits of both types of materials, you begin to realize that the debate of lava rocks vs mulch isn’t quite so cut-and-dry. Both can be used effectively to promote plant health, but there are a few factors that may impact your decision.
Above all else, you need to consider the needs of the plants and vegetation you plan to have. If your plants are more sensitive to temperature fluctuations then lava rocks may be the better option.
It’s also important to consider the look and feel that you want to portray. Some people prefer the more natural look and feel of mulch when compared with lava rocks.
We recommend visiting your local landscape supplier to see both products if you’re unsure of which you think you’ll like best. Once you’re there you can speak to local experts about which they recommend and why. This should help you find the perfect match.
Braen Supply is one of the largest landscape suppliers in northern NJ, including Bergen County. We’ve been assisting customers with their lava rock and mulch questions for more than a decade and would love to speak with you about your upcoming project.
We have lava rocks and mulch available at wholesale prices and for bulk delivery and pickup across all of NJ, NY, PA & CT.