You want the best for your landscaping. So, why would you settle for mulch that won’t give you as many benefits as possible, or worse, could actively harm your soil? These are the risks you run when you choose inorganic mulch over organic mulch. Things can also go wrong if you choose the wrong type of organic mulch.
But don’t let this get you down or paralyze you with fear! Your landscaping will be the best it can be when you choose the highest quality organic mulch available.
In this post, we’ll show you why organic mulch is essential for vibrant and robust landscape beds and garden plots. Then we’ll explain why 100% premium hardwood mulch is the best type of organic mulch you could ever choose.
Before we get started, we should mention that we offer premium mulch delivery throughout the Chicagoland region. You can click below to learn more about the mulch we offer.
Now, let’s get mulching!
What is Organic Mulch?
Organic mulch is ground-up pieces of formerly living material used to protect the soil in landscape beds and garden plots. People use many different materials for organic mulch, but as we will see, not all types of organic mulch are created equal.
Some of the most common types of organic mulch include:
- Cotton burrs
- Pine straw
- Cocoa beans
- Grass and leaves
All these mulches decompose over time and need periodic replacement. How long does organic mulch last? The answer is typically around 4-6 years before it completely decomposes. However, we recommend replenishing the mulch every 1-2 years to keep it fresh.
Organic vs. Inorganic Mulch
The primary difference between organic and inorganic mulch is inorganic mulch does not naturally decompose over time. Rather, it consists of synthetic material that was not previously living.
Some of the most popular types of inorganic mulch are:
- Gravel and pebbles
- Landscape fabrics
- Shredded rubber
- Plastic sheeting
- Reflective metal
People often choose inorganic mulch over organic mulch because it lasts longer without having to be replaced. Some also like the striking appearance of unusual materials like plastic or metal. We would consider this a mistake, however, because of all the ways organic mulch is superior to inorganic mulch. We will go into those reasons below.
Bagged vs. Bulk Organic Mulch
Another important distinction to make when talking about organic mulch is the difference between bagged and bulk mulch. These are the two primary ways most people get their mulch. They either purchase it in bags from the hardware store or buy large amounts by the truckload.
Many people prefer bagged mulch because it seems easier to load up their vehicle with as many bags as they need than to go through the hassle of figuring out a bulk mulch order.
However, ordering bulk mulch can be a more efficient choice when you buy from a helpful company. For example, we make the bulk mulch ordering process easy at Lumberjacks by helping customers determine how much they need and quickly delivering bulk mulch to their homes.
Bulk organic mulch is also a safer bet for the overall health of your gardens and landscape beds. We will discuss the main reasons this is the case in the next section.
Is Organic Mulch Better Than Regular Mulch?
So, what makes organic mulch so great? The 100% natural mulch is so much more valuable for landscaping than the mulch most people settle for.
As we mentioned above, people like how low-maintenance inorganic mulch is since it does not decompose and need to be replaced over time. We understand how appealing it is to be able to lay mulch and forget it. However, these people are missing out on so much of what organic hardwood has to offer!
Inorganic mulch only does half as much as organic mulch does. It helps suppress weeds and forms a protective barrier over the soil, but it doesn’t do anything to improve the health of your soil and plants.
Organic mulch picks up inorganic mulch’s slack by feeding the soil as it decomposes. The natural nutrients in the organic mulch enrich the soil, which in turn nourishes the roots of the plants. For this reason, gardens and landscape beds with organic mulch tend to be healthier and more fruitful than their inorganic counterparts. More on this later.
Organic bulk mulch also performs significantly better than the bagged version. This is because bagged mulch isn’t always 100% organic. Instead, it sometimes contains old pieces of pressure-treated wood mixed in with organic hardwood. Bagged mulch manufacturers mix this type of wood in because it’s cheaper than using harvested wood. Unfortunately, pressure-treated lumber contains chemicals that will harm your plants and soil.
For this reason, it’s crucial to make sure the mulch you’re purchasing is 100% organic. You will always get this when you purchase bulk mulch from Lumberjacks. We only use organic wood from trustworthy harvesters because we value our customers and want them to be totally satisfied with our products.
Is Organic Hardwood Mulch Worth It?
Organic mulch is only worth it if it’s made from 100% organic hardwood species like oak, hickory and birch. This is the premium stuff that offers more benefits than any other type of mulch.
Don’t believe us? Here are just some of the many superior benefits hardwood mulch provides:
Works for a Wide Variety of Applications
Organic hardwood is the most versatile type of groundcover available. Other organic mulches only work well for some applications like vegetable gardens or certain types of flowers. But hardwood is safe and valuable to use for all these areas:
- Trees and shrubs
- Flower and vegetable gardens
- Landscape beds around the home
- Backyard paths
Effectively Stifles Weeds
Only hardwood mulch provides the thick layer of coverage necessary to discourage weed growth. A 2-4-inch layer of dense wood chips shades the soil from the sunlight weeds need to grow. Other thinner organic mulches like pine straw are not nearly as effective at providing this shade.
Hardwood mulch also makes it easier to pull any weeds that happen to spring up. This is because weeds have a harder time taking deep root underneath the thick mulch layer.
Nourishes the Soil for Stronger Plants
Hardwood also gives the soil all the nutrients it needs to help plants grow as it decomposes. Scientific research shows that soil requires a regular influx of organic matter to remain healthy. In this way, putting down organic hardwood mulch is the gift that keeps on giving for flourishing plants.
Won’t Risk Harming Your Soil
Mulch also poses no threats to your soil and plants when it consists of nothing but organic hardwood. The wood will only help the soil by feeding it and will not inhibit your plants from thriving.
The same cannot be said for other types of mulch. For example, inorganic mulches can sometimes contain chemicals that seep in and pollute the soil. The same goes for bagged mulch with pressure-treated wood mixed in, as we mentioned above.
Even organic mulches that seem natural and benign can be harmful. For instance, cotton burrs sometimes contain pesticides, and cocoa shells occasionally get moldy.
At Lumberjacks, we take great care to ensure our mulch never contains impurities like these. The hardwood we use to create the mulch was previously kiln-dried to be used as firewood. This kiln-drying process purifies the wood from all pesticides, mold and insects. So, it’s 100% pure and ready for a great landscaping experience!
Handles Excess Rainwater Well
Hardwood mulch also handles excess water better than any other type of mulch. The dense wood does a good job of staying put even when summer storms threaten to flood it away. It also keeps the water from eroding your topsoil in the process.
Covering your soil with wood mulch also prevents it from splashing up on plants and causing soilborne illnesses during rainstorms. Instead, the soil stays off your plants and on the ground where it belongs.
Keeps Soil at an Ideal Temperature
You can’t do much better for soil insulation than premium hardwood mulch. The thick layer of wood keeps the soil temperate year-round to prevent your plants from overheating in the summer or freezing in the winter.
Prevents Soil Compaction
Without mulch, the soil is vulnerable to sinking under our weight as we walk through our gardens. Hardwood mulch forms the strongest barrier that effectively disperses weight to keep the soil from sinking under it. Hardwood mulch also helps keep the soil sturdy by feeding it as it decomposes.
Creates Beautiful Landscape Beds and Garden Plots
You can’t beat the look of natural organic hardwood mulch. The wood chips give landscape beds a natural and rustic appearance that inorganic mulch simply can’t replicate. Hardwood mulch is also easier to keep neat and tidy than other types of organic mulch like scraggly pine straw.
Want Premium Mulch Delivery to Your Chicago Area Home?
You simply can’t go wrong with 100% premium hardwood organic mulch. It provides essential nourishment to soil and plants that inorganic mulch can’t provide. And it doesn’t contain any of the harmful processed wood you’ll sometimes find in bagged mulch. No other mulch creates healthier gardens or looks quite as good while doing it!
If you want some of this excellent mulch for yourself, our team at Lumberjacks would be happy to help! We deliver organic hardwood mulch throughout the Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin regions. Please call 815-337-1451 to place your order or click below to learn more about our premium product.