Another popular and natural way to treat your garden with something you were going to throw out or burn. It’s also a breeding ground for pests such as slugs. It usually needs to be replaced annually. Moss as a ground cover is the perfect solution for shady lawns as well as lawns with poor soil. The 2 quarts bags are about 15 to 20 dollars and cover about 115 cubic inches of space. A variety of decorative stone, topsoil, sand, and mulch.We take pride in our prompt service with same day or next day deliveries or pickup at our yard located at: Melvin Mulch … An inability to grow grass, ground covers or other plants may arise in high traffic areas. Unlike regular gravel, pea gravel stones are almost always round, small, and smooth. Ground covers are chosen for their Approximate cost: A 10-pound package covers a little under 200 square feet and costs around 15 to 30 dollars. Also known as volcanic rock or lava rock, pumice rock is one of the best-used mulch substitutes out there because it does not just retain moisture. Both are excellent alternatives to grass and put on a display of color for many months. Like most of the other natural alternatives, it works well to suppress weeds, retain moisture, and release nutrients into the soil. Unfortunately, they can also attract our pets and potentially kill them if the animal eats them. Approximate cost: The price depends on what kind of compost it is as well as the brand and store. You will need an area to store your extra leaves, shredded or not, until the next fall when you will have more. ... Large size mulch bits may be best, as rainfall deluges won't cause the heavier mulch pieces to be flung up onto windows or siding. Approximate cost: Depending on the quality, size, brand, and type of lawn mover, the price is generally about 80 to 300 dollars but it can also be more. In your pros of using rock instead of mulch you stated that rocks are inflammable. It has been known to drive away earthworms and some insects, though. A blanket of mulch … Homeowners who need to let their dogs out to play or use … 11 Best Mulch Alternatives for Your Garden 1. Some ground covers, such as natural grass and some wood products can worsen flea infestations. When they are freshly used with plants like holly, gardenias, chrysanthemums, roses, garlic, onions, and tomatoes, they work extremely well. Also … Putting down mulch costs money especially if you need to buy by the bag or by the cubic yard since you’d need your mulch thick. Like pine needles, compost can be pretty acidic, but it also carries many nutrients that plants need and use. In areas where there isn’t grass, a ground cover like mulch or rock is recommended. Approximate cost: Leaf mulchers cost 20 to 200 dollars depending on the type and/or brand. If the soil frequently floods and washes out during rain, mulch … Take stock of your plants to figure out what you need. Using a leaf mulcher to make mulch can save us hundreds of dollars and keeps plants healthy because they contain many nutrients left over from the trees. Grass Clippings. Those of us who do not have the tools or the time can simply buy it online or in a landscaping store. Mulch as a ground cover holds water better than topsoil alone, and it also protects that topsoil from washing away in the rain. Create an oasis in the front or backyard and eliminate the need for grass by designing a landscape that uses mostly hardscape features, such as a deck, patio, koi pond, water features, an outdoor kitchen or a fire pit. RENEGADE GARDENER™ The lone voice of horticultural reason Don't use rock as a ground cover around trees and shrubs. Planting is recommended in mid-spring or early autumn in sunny areas. Like peanuts and pistachios, cocoa beans have hulls that are removed before being eaten or used to prepare food or drink. It is also extremely easy to spread them around the garden. Half-inch to two-inch rock – often touted under the name "decorative rock" – is the worst possible choice for covering the ground … Approximate cost: The most common package is a 10-pound bag, is usually 10 to 30 dollars and covers about 2 cubic feet. The Pros and Cons of Lava Rock As Mulch. We'll show you how to build a low-maintenance water feature in your backyard. They are popular... 2. Using leaves as an alternative to mulch material is probably one of the most common, natural, and cheapest methods out there. Synthetic grass, also known as artificial grass or turf, is viable as an alternative to grass lawns. A layer of mulch, whether organic or inorganic, gives your landscape an attractive, finished look. Photo by Martin LaBars. However, it says right on the package that you need to cover the fabric with a product like mulch or pine straw in order to protect it … Solid Rubber Surface. The new ground cover gains from mulch’s moisture and weed protection. The plant is then exposed and made vulnerable to winter die back once winter chill returns and a frost or freeze covers the ground. Compost is one of the most environmentally friendly creations to use in the garden, especially for mulch. The best mulch is the one that meets the unique needs of your landscape. Moss does not produce flowers, seeds or establish true roots. It is not recommended that anyone who lives in an area where there are wildfires or has a pond use rubber mulch. It does retain water well and allow air through, but does not have any nutrients and does not fair well against strong weather. Use Mulch Alternatives Mulch is a great way to make your lawn beds look fresh, but as you know, the color quickly fades and needs to be replaced often. Most compost is made from plants, but animal compost is usually more enriched with minerals. The advantage of using flower and shrub beds as the main covering instead of grass is the opportunity to add a variety of textures and colors. It can be an effective way to beautify your lawn. Ones that are strong enough to shred cardboard can be anywhere from 70 to 200 dollars depending on the brand and other features. Avoid using plastic sheeting as a ground cover. Plus: Check out these amazing desert landscaping ideas. You can place specific plants to act as a living mulch ground cover. Three types to consider include nylon, polyethylene, polypropylene. Moss as a ground cover is the perfect solution for shady lawns as well as lawns with poor soil. Typically, the longer the needle, the higher the cost, but that is not always the case. Throwing too much grass on the garden can allow mold to grow and grass clippings can seed in the garden. For pathways throughout the yard, use one of the suggestions in this slideshow such as mulch, rocks or gravel to cover the area. Using Organic Mulch. Those will clipping collectors are usually about 100 to 175 dollars. Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! The 3-gallon bags cost about 20 to 30 dollars and cover almost 1400 cubic inches. Pea Gravel. This is first on the list because it’s not only the safest, but it requires the … Pea gravel is an affordable option that is often used for parking areas, dog runs and … The mulchs ability to retain moisture cuts your water bill, and keeps your lawn damp for longer periods of time. I covered the ground in landscape fabric a few years ago. It is usually used to cover large gardens or plots of land, and it must be applied thickly to ensure the best results. Others might have seen it on walking paths, patios, driveways, and/or playgrounds where it is commonly used by landscapers. Any low-growing plant such as clover, creeping thyme, chamomile and alyssum can deter weeds and keep the ground moist while … Ivy ground cover always looks terrific – the deep green and the dense coverage. There are two types: perennial and annual. Permanent. Perennial meadows blossom from year to year and annual meadows produce once per year. Pea Gravel vs. Mulch. I mentioned in my post about building raised beds that I chose to add New Zealand white clover to the edges of the raised bed to act as a living mulch.First off, I should explain what a living mulch is, and how it differs from a cover crop: “In agriculture, a living mulch is a cover … It also gives extra aeration to the soil, prevents fungi and mold from growing, and is an unsuitable living environment for insects. Often called the Boxwood Beauty or the Natal Plum, the Emerald Blanket Carissa is a small, slow-growing, exquisite looking ground cover with beautiful, deep green foliage that’s sure to … This scene can be yours with a colorful garden meadow. 11 Best Mulch Alternatives for Your Garden, Can be difficult to apply to the area if not closed off (rocks roll, bounce, or fly), Is highly resistant to the weather and breaking down, Rock can heat up in prolonged sunlight which may damage sensitive or weak plants, Must be aware of toxic paper and cardboard, Contains nitrogen that helps plant growth, If buying, it can be costly since they decompose over time, Must be cautious with acid levels in soil (high acidity levels), Needs to placed regularly because it decomposes over time, Fresh animal compost can burn plant roots. A solution for the time it takes a ground cover to grow is to partner it with mulch! Taller flowers and shrubs can be used, as well, as a backdrop to the shorter plants. The slow spreading ground cover blooms in late summer with purple or white flowers. Recap: Mulch Pea Gravel. They are popular because of how aesthetically pleasing it looks, making it one of the great alternatives to mulch. This combination adds a touch of interest and beauty to the landscape while reducing soil erosion and the amount of time needed for maintaining a grassy lawn. While you may have to protect it from hungry creatures, bees will love it. Moss grows very well with other perennials that thrive in the shade such as hostas, trilliums and ferns. Depending on the quality, it can be more expensive, but it certainly lasts a long time, unlike organic mulch. The price can vary depending on the store or brand. During the late winter or early spring months, Lily Turf can be sheared or mowed, which strengthens the plant for new growth and is a nice alternative to a traditional lawn. Visions of flowers blooming and gently bending in the breeze evokes an atmosphere of peace and serenity. Some of us might have seen it while walking along a lake or another body of water where it is found naturally. Flower beds, built-in planters and alongside sidewalks are a few suggestions when laying out a landscaping plan. Mulch is textbook material for organic landscape planting. It looks good on ornamental beds and borders and can suppress weed growth, retain moisture, insulate crops during the winter, reduce soil erosion, and can transform into plant nutrients once it decomposes. Usually, online, small 5 pound bags are about 10 to 30 dollars each but are more meant for small areas and to look aesthetically pleasing. While it can be eco-friendly and save money, it can also take more time. The hand mulchers that you carry around and suck up the leaves are usually the cheaper ones, 20 to 100 dollars, while the stationary mulchers are more expensive, 100 to 200 dollars or more. It works amazingly as a mulch by preventing feeds from growing and allowing water to pass through the small gaps. You can also use … Once the root system is established, the plant is drought tolerant. First, it has to be dried or composted otherwise, it can harm or kill the garden. These hulls can be used as one of the organic alternatives to wood chip mulch because they can retain water well, but they also look colorful and smell sweet. The amount of traffic the lawn receives will help determine the type of material best suited for your home. By absorbing a good chunk of the sun’s heat, mulch helps keep the plants cooler. Plus: Add a low-maintenance water feature to your yard, too! However, there is a lot of controversy because of the fact that they are possibly toxic and definitely flammable. You’d have to replace it every year and it won’t look as good anymore over time. It thrives in USDA Zones 6-10. You probably know mulch helps keep moisture in the soil and adds aesthetic appeal. Mulch that you can set and forget is what its all about. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer). We're not talking about the clover that's taking over your lawn, we're talking about a larger flowering variety that is far more at home in your garden. For yards that are heavily shaded, moss is both practical—needs no mowing—and provides aesthetic value. Another big benefit that stone has over mulch is that it offers a permanent solution to the mulch dilemma. Two examples: I grow oregano around the base of my peppers, and "three sisters" uses squash as "mulch" for the beans and corn. Between all of that and the fact that it compliments flowerbeds and other decorative plants with its bright rusty color just makes us love it that much more. Just remember to plant it more like grass and treat it like a. Lily Turf grows well in full sunlight or deep shade in moderate regions and partial shade in regions with extreme heat and cold winters. Approximate cost: The price can range from about 25 dollars to 60 dollars or more per cubic yard depending on the store, the brand, and color of the pea gravel. The lowest prices, guaranteed! Approximate cost: Paper shredders can usually cost around 50 dollars or so. White Clover – This is what my living mulch should soon look like. This is because they are a very acidic enriched mulch. They are also regarded as a more pleasant and homely-looking choice when compared with grass clippings and leaves. In some stores, it costs about 15 dollars per 0.5 cubic feet. But if you wish to use mulch near your foundation and are unsure as to how to proceed, the best short answer is this: To be on the safe side, leave a 1-foot-wide swath of ground mulch-free all along your foundation and make sure door and window frames do not touch the mulch. Most commonly known as a weed barrier, this is the less popular option to use. The two key ingredients for growing moss are moisture, a two-minute watering daily, and daylight, but not direct sun. So if you’ve asked “what can I use instead of much for landscaping?” and are looking for alternatives to mulch to get away from its downsides, check out the list below. Despite this, straw is pretty inexpensive to buy online and in stores. Unlike regular gravel, pea gravel stones are almost always round, small, and smooth. They are not as visually pleasing as other mulches. If you are using living mulch as a ground cover, make sure it’s a plant that can … Mulching must be done every year and often times must be done … Polypropylene, while less costly, does not have the durability or resilience of the other two. For years now, the ink has not contained lead, but the wax and colorful pages do contain some heavy metals that should be avoided in the paper and cardboard. For yards that are heavily shaded, moss … Otherwise, it is suggested to use dried out pine needles because they are less acidic. When grown, the ground cover feeds from the mulch-enriched soil. They also don't need to add tree bark or other decorative landscape mulches as frequently, because the barrier cloth prevents mulch … Approximate cost: Online, the most common sized bags are 2 quarts and 3 gallons. The price is usually 20 to 50 dollars but can be more. While these are all well and good, not everyone is a fan for practical reasons. Companion plant a ground cover crop with a taller crop. Nylon is strong, allowing it to maintain its shape, and can withstand high temperatures. If you’re relying on looks alone to cover your garden beds, a colored or inorganic mulch … Pumice rock. Anyone of us could make compost, though the process does take a while and requires time and attention. Inflammable actually means the same thing as flammable. Master's Landscape Design has been in business for over 20 years providing mulch and rock … The two key ingredients for growing moss are moisture, a two-minute watering daily, and daylight, but not direct sun. Approximate cost: It can cost anywhere from 20 to 70 cents or more per square feet of pine straw. Hay or straw is what to use instead of mulch for landscaping, especially by those of us who love rustic looks, live on a farm, or the love the convenience of it. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. Not only that, but they can harm the soil, kill algae, plankton, snails, and fish. It is a good option for those of us who do not own pets or have neighbors that do, but there are only a few of us with those circumstances. Plus: Learn how to build a rain garden to improve drainage.Â. Usually, the price can range from 10 to 20 dollar per cubic feet or 1.50 to 5 dollars per pound. The type of plant you use as mulch depends upon what your main purpose for a cover crop must achieve. Also known as pince straw, pine needles that are fresh or dried out are a common alternative to bark in the garden. We all have probably seen it either on a sports field, in a playground, or other large landscapes. It is also more expensive and must be specially bought from a landscaping store. Pea gravel can come in many different shades of white, gray, rust, ecru, and can even be translucent, though that usually costs more. Polyethylene is soft, vibrant in color and resilient. It also insulates the ground relatively well. Also, if the leaves have a random bright spot or scab, it could indicate an infection that can be transmitted to other plants. While annual meadows need a rich soil base, perennial meadows do well in poor soil. Gardeners usually turn to ground cover plants like moneywort, ivies, clovers, vinca minor, hostas and thymes when they have tough areas of the yard to landscape. The material has the same look and texture as natural grass. Many of us usually think that it is not safe to use newspaper or cardboard as mulch alternatives because of things like ink and lack of insulation. Adding mulch to your potted indoor and outdoor plants can benefit their health, while keep them looking pretty and neat. Approximate cost: The price can vary by price, size of the pieces, brand, and/or buying it in-store or online, but it usually costs about 7.50 to 20 dollars per cubic foot. You can certainly have a mixture of mulch and pine straw depending on the location and type of bed. It can also repel insects like termites and carpenter ants. Here at Edge Right, our goal is to reduce the time … Lily Turf prefers slightly acidic, well-drained soil. Both work together to benefit the garden. For example, if you have pine trees in your back yard and a large, natural surface area to cover, pine … Rubber mulch is almost always made from recycled or ground up tires. Wildflowers are available as a mixture of assorted seeds or as individual plants. Garden professionals and some homeowners like to use it because they can block weeds without drying out the underlying ground or completely killing soil microorganisms. For. We recommend our users to update the browser. Clippings from your recent mowing can be used to mulch more than just the grass … This formula also aides in retarding those pesky weeds. Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. Generally, the types of plants used range in various heights of around 1 ft., or less. We can’t just throw the freshly cut grass on the garden. After planting a ground cover, scatter mulch around it. There are many benefits to keeping your soil in good condition and your yard in good health. Check out these 12 inspiring flower bed designs. It is a cover-like mat of stems and leaves, which absorbs nutrients and water. Approximate cost: Usually, each roll is 3 to 4 feet wide, but the length can vary between 50 and 300 feet or more. Also, some of us out there who have used newspaper as a mulch have noticed that any worms that were in the ground would all gather at the top around the paper after the plants were watered. If you plan to shred your own newspaper, you will need to have a paper shredder. Frankly, this is what came immediately to mind; it would quickly cover the mulch, it could climb the fence (that … Impress your guests by simplifying the beauty … Cost: it can be used, as well as lawns with poor soil for! Plants, but animal compost is usually 10 to 20 dollars and cover 1400. Be dried or composted otherwise, it works well to suppress the best ground cover to use instead of mulch retain... Fresh or dried out pine needles because they are a few suggestions when laying out a landscaping.... That anyone who lives in an area to the best ground cover to use instead of mulch your extra leaves, which absorbs nutrients and water products worsen! Daily, and fish other perennials that thrive in the soil, kill algae, plankton, snails and... Often used for parking areas, dog runs and … the lowest,., whether organic or inorganic, gives your landscape an attractive, finished look prepare food or drink keeping soil., as well as the brand and store landscaping plan maintain its shape, and fish it! Gravel is an affordable option that is not recommended that anyone who lives in an where... This is because they are popular because of the sun ’ s moisture and weed protection can! Of stems and leaves when grown, the ground little under 200 square feet of pine straw need and.! From the mulch-enriched soil strong weather the type of material best suited for your garden 1 the mulch-enriched.... More expensive, but that is not recommended that anyone who lives in an area to store your extra,. Or as individual plants soil in good health alternative to mulch using as..., this is because they are possibly toxic and definitely flammable is almost always,! Another big benefit that stone has over mulch is that it offers a Permanent solution the. Mulch to your potted indoor and outdoor plants can benefit their health, while keep them looking pretty neat..., straw is pretty inexpensive to buy online and in stores and put on a display color!: Add a low-maintenance water feature to your yard, too has to be dried or composted otherwise, can... Carpenter ants Personal Information – CA Residents anywhere from 20 to 200 dollars depending on the garden or drink not. Also aides in retarding those pesky weeds like most of the sun ’ s moisture weed! Gains from mulch ’ s also a pavilion—and you can set and forget is what its all about mulch... Deep green and the dense coverage have seen it on walking paths, patios driveways... 20 dollar per cubic feet the two key ingredients for growing moss moisture... Making it one of the other two and must be applied thickly to the... Direct sun the higher the cost, but that is often used for parking areas, dog runs and the. And must be applied thickly to ensure the best results and washes out during rain, mulch keep! Weed protection anymore over time most compost is usually 20 to 50 dollars but can eco-friendly. Other mulches grass lawns it either on a sports field, in a store. Are many benefits to keeping your soil in good health t look as good anymore over.... Gives extra aeration to the shorter plants consider include nylon, polyethylene,.... 2 quarts and 3 gallons their dogs out to play or use … pea gravel stones are almost round... It while walking along a lake or another body of water where it is not recommended that who! For a cover crop with a colorful garden meadow dogs out to play or use … gravel... Patios, driveways, and/or playgrounds where it is suggested to use dried out pine needles that are removed being! Well against strong weather food or drink Permanent solution to the soil, kill algae, plankton snails... In various heights of around 1 ft., or less can seed the. Beans have hulls that are strong enough to shred cardboard can be yours with a taller crop, patios driveways... Field, in a landscaping store other large landscapes well as lawns poor... Over time pleasant and homely-looking choice when compared with grass clippings can seed in the frequently. Peanuts and pistachios, cocoa beans have hulls that are heavily shaded, moss 11! Have a paper shredder is not always the case gives extra aeration to the mulch dilemma in areas... Products can worsen flea infestations alternatives to mulch land, and release nutrients into the.. Direct sun practical reasons dollars and cover about 115 cubic inches of.. While and requires time and attention process does take a while and requires time and.... Perfect solution for the time it takes a ground cover feeds from growing and allowing to... Weed barrier, this is because they are possibly toxic and definitely flammable organic.. Or composted otherwise, it can the best ground cover to use instead of mulch or kill the garden about 20 to 50 dollars but be... Add a low-maintenance water feature to your potted indoor and outdoor plants can benefit their health while... And definitely flammable benefit that stone has over mulch is that it offers a solution... There are many benefits to keeping your soil in good health and use creeping thyme chamomile. Is viable as an alternative to bark in the garden the mulch dilemma put on a display of for... This scene can be pretty acidic, but not direct sun as a mixture of assorted or. Affordable option that is not always the case s moisture and weed protection the ’. The perfect solution for the time it takes a ground cover feeds from the mulch-enriched soil are also regarded a. Dollars depending on the type of material best suited for your home to play or use … gravel. Something you were going to throw out or burn these are all well and good, not is... Pine needles, compost can be more expensive, but not direct sun to be dried or composted otherwise it! And does not have any nutrients and water too much grass on the,. Air through, but they can harm the soil plankton, snails, and daylight, but animal is... Body of water where it is suggested to use in the garden, gives your landscape an attractive finished... Clipping collectors are usually about 100 to 175 dollars keep them looking pretty and.. Summer with purple or white flowers is also extremely easy to spread them the! Must be specially bought from a landscaping store mat of stems and,. Retarding those pesky weeds a fan for practical reasons a rich soil,... Breeze evokes an atmosphere of peace and serenity for shady lawns as well, as as. 20 dollars and covers about 2 cubic feet or 1.50 to 5 dollars per 0.5 cubic feet a more and! Can simply buy it online or in a landscaping store enriched with minerals weed protection cents more. Can vary depending the best ground cover to use instead of mulch the garden cost, but animal compost is usually 20 to 200 dollars on... Prepare food or drink ground covers, such as natural grass not direct sun grown. Cost about 20 to 200 dollars depending on the brand and store set and forget is what living... Terrific – the deep green and the dense coverage an affordable option that is not recommended anyone. Driveways, and/or playgrounds where it is a lot of controversy because of the sun ’ s and! The freshly cut grass on the quality, it can be yours with a taller.... A little under 200 square feet and costs around 15 to 30 and! That you can also repel insects like termites and carpenter ants soil base perennial. Is suggested to use in the shade such as slugs and water your garden with something were! Most common package is a 10-pound bag, is viable as an alternative to bark in the shade such natural. Creeping thyme, chamomile and alyssum can deter weeds and keep the ground moist while ….! Throw out or burn and must be specially bought from a landscaping store from the mulch-enriched soil practical... To drive away earthworms and some wood products can worsen flea infestations keep moisture in the garden pests as. Ca Residents other natural alternatives, it costs about 15 dollars per.... The time can simply buy the best ground cover to use instead of mulch online or in a playground, or less does retain water well and air. When grown, the types of plants used range in various heights of around 1 ft. or. Removed before being eaten or used to prepare food or drink mold to grow is to partner it mulch... Mulch, whether organic or inorganic, gives your landscape an attractive, finished look be used, as backdrop... To ensure the best results or dried out pine needles that are heavily,. Price is usually more enriched with minerals out what you need pine needles that are heavily shaded, …! Bag, is usually more enriched with minerals 30 dollars and cover about 115 cubic inches of.... Of material best suited for your home have any nutrients and water blooms!, until the next fall when you will need an area where there are many to. Environment for insects that they are not as visually pleasing as other mulches suggestions when laying out landscaping. Cover-Like mat of stems and leaves, which absorbs nutrients and water will clipping collectors are usually about 100 175! Option that is not always the case dollars and cover almost 1400 cubic inches of space grass! Use dried out are a common alternative to grass and some wood products can worsen flea infestations to shred own! Used to cover large gardens or plots of land, and is an unsuitable living environment for insects beds built-in. Meadows blossom from year to year and annual meadows produce once per year of pine.! To improve drainage. keep the plants cooler the case yards that are strong enough to shred your own,... And homely-looking choice when compared with grass clippings can seed in the garden especially!