How to Choose the Right Mulch or Aggregates for Your Garden

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At Dirt Cheap, we understand how confusing it can be to choose the right mulch or aggregates for your garden or landscaping. 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.

Landscape Fabric

While it’s not what you think of when you think of mulch, landscape fabric is an essential part of mulching your garden or landscaped areas. Plastic and landscape fabrics are typically used as a base layer between your garden soil and a decorative mulch.

If weeds are an issue for you, landscape fabric is a great option as they help to suppress weeds and keep your garden beds moist.

We suggest avoiding black plastic and opting for landscape fabric instead. Landscape fabric is woven so it allows moisture, fertilizer and oxygen through to your plants, while still blocking weeds from growing.

Organic Mulches

Organic mulches are some of the most popular choices for gardeners, and for good reason. Organic mulches include shredded bark, bark nuggets and straw, and offer many benefits for your garden.

One of the main benefits of organic mulches is that they contain nutrients which are passed on to your plants. Organic mulch helps to enrich the soil, allow water to reach your plants’ roots and keep the soil from drying out.

We recommend looking for a mulch that will take longer to decompose so you will have a longer-lasting product. Pine nugget mulches are great for this, whereas straw will break down more quickly.

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 referred to 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.

At Dirt Cheap, we offer a wide range of mulch and aggregate options for your garden, delivered right where you need it.

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