At Dirt Cheap, we understand how confusing it can be to choose the right mulch or aggregate for your garden or landscaping project. There are so many options available that it’s not always clear what type of material is the right choice for your particular situation.
Luckily, once you know the difference between these common types of mulches and aggregates, you’ll be able to choose the right one for you.

Wood Mulches

Wood mulches are some of the most popular choices for gardeners, and for good reason. Wood mulch includes shredded bark, bark nuggets, and straw, and offer many benefits for your garden.
One of the main benefits of wood mulch is that they contain nutrients which are passed on to your plants. Wood mulch helps to enrich the soil, allow water to reach your plants’ roots and keep the soil from drying out. Proper mulch applications will also help minimize soil erosion, help with weed prevention and also act as a barrier for temperature changes. 
Products such as cedar, hemlock and pine nuggets tend to last longer than traditional pine mulches. However, shredded pine mulch will offer you the most options to fit your desired look.
The colour of mulch that you choose will also have an impact on your garden, so choose wisely. For sunny areas, try to avoid dark mulches as they will absorb more heat and pass that along to your plants. If you like the look of dark mulch, make sure you’re planting heat-tolerant plants in these sunny areas.


Aggregates are sometimes used as “rock mulches” but they have slightly different uses than organic mulches.
Rock mulches are best used in areas where you don’t expect to move or plant anything very often, so they’re not a great use for garden beds. Rock mulches typically scatter easily, so it’s best to use them in areas where you won’t see a lot of foot traffic. The best way to use a rock mulch is between patio stones or surrounding a tree. They are still great at keeping weeds at bay, though they won’t add anything in terms of nutrients.
Rock mulches are particularly popular for aesthetic purposes. Rock mulches don’t need to be replaced as regularly as organic mulches, so they’re a great choice for homeowners who prefer a low-maintenance option. This material won’t scatter and blow around in a storm, so you can count on it to keep your plants and trees protected regardless of the weather.

Landscape Fabric

While it’s technically not a mulch, landscape fabric is used by many people as part of mulching their garden or landscaped areas. Plastic and textile fabrics can be used as a base layer between your garden soil and a decorative mulch.
Having issues with weeds? Acting as a barrier to sunlight and as a physical roadblock, landscape fabrics can be a great tool to help avoid pesky weeds from popping up in your garden.
While many different products exist, we suggest woven landscape fabric as it allows moisture, fertilizer and oxygen through to your plants, while still blocking weeds from growing.
At Dirt Cheap, we offer a wide range of mulch and aggregate options for your garden, delivered right where you need it.