Landscaping and You: Rocks, Mulch, and the Questions You’ve Always Wanted Answered

As an observant person who’s always taking note of a good-looking landscape, it’s probably not a stretch that you’ve noticed in most well-tamed, meticulous, and well-designed lawns and landscapes you can find a touch of rocks or mulch.

While it’s safe to say that this kind of landscaping feature certainly makes for a gorgeous aesthetic, implementing these landscaping tools does a lot more than just adding a beautiful finishing touch.

In fact, rocks and mulch can help to provide specific functions that could help your flower beds, trees, and lawn thrive and function to the best of its potential.

With 150 years of combined experience and countless landscapes reimagined and maintained, we’ve established techniques, procedures, and formats for using mulch and rock, have determined when to use each, and can even advise on when to use both!

Check out what we’ve got to say about mulch and rocks below, read on the advantages of each, and open your mind to the power of these landscaping tools!

Let’s Talk Rocks

We know what you’re thinking – small rocks are terribly annoying. They get in the way of your mower, they make for uneven terrain in your lawn, and they mess up your soil! But hear us out – we’re not talking about tiny little pebbles in your landscape, we’re talking about large rocks that can help to line your landscape, add natural beauty, and even act as a nutrition retainer for some of your plants and landscape sections.

As simple as that sounds, there are still a ton of questions that surround rocks – how do you use them? Where do you put them? What can they really offer your landscape?

No worries – we’re here to spell it all out for you!

Benefits of Rocks

So, what are the real benefits of rocks, anyway?

For starters, rocks are great at strangling weeds and preventing them from growing in the first place, so if you’re dealing with a weed issue, consider adding a layer of rocks in that area. Rocks are wind-resistant, too, because they’re so heavy – this can help solve soil erosion issues if you live in a particularly windy area.

Live in an area with hot temperatures and dangerous wildfires? Rocks are fireproof! You won’t have to worry about them being a flammable issue, and they can really help to give your landscape that desert-and-cacti-look (if that’s something you appreciate in a landscape).

The best thing about rocks is that they’re both incredibly low maintenance and incredibly low cost, meaning, not only will you not have to take care of them, you won’t have to deal with replacing them because they’re so long lasting!

Larger rocks can also act as environmentally friendly retaining walls, keeping landslides back, holding plants off from the road, and keeping people away from landscaping, too.

Possible Cons of Rocks

Rocks might sound like the end-all-be-all of landscaping, but just like anything in life, there are a few negatives you’ll need to weigh, too. For example, rocks are heat conductors and they’ll definitely be hot – that means you can’t be walking around on your rock-lawn barefoot lest you’re prepared to deal with the burn. More than that, though, this can lead to super thirsty plants because the rocks might raise the temperature of the surrounding soil.

Further, rocks can mess with the pH of the soil as they create an alkaline soil – typically, plants go for more of an acidic soil.

What’s worse is that stones can’t be removed super easily — you’ll likely have to do this by hand, so if you’re not certain that you want your rocks to stay in your landscape for a good amount of time, it’s probably best to keep them out of your plans.

How to Use Rocks in Your Landscape

Consider using rocks in areas that have high wind risk – because they’re so heavy and stable, you’ll be able to prevent soil erosion from happening by placing rocks on the soil. Further, you can use rocks as retaining walls if you want to keep people and animals out of special areas, like a beautiful (but delicate) garden. If you’re dealing with an exceptional weed issue, rocks can be the solution here, too – simply place a variety of rocks in that particular area and sit back to watch the weeds die out.

 

All About the Mulch

You see mulch almost every day. It’s used to line gardens, give off a neat, tidy appearance, and help to retain moisture. But what are all the benefits of mulch, and better yet, how can you use mulch correctly to help your landscape thrive and prosper?

We’ve got all the mulch answers here for you!

Mulch Musts

A nice layer of mulch in your landscape is a great option if you’re looking to help your soil retain moisture and nutrients. This is a wonderful hack for people who live in environments where the soil might be problematic (sound like Florida to you?).

Further, mulch is a great choice because it helps to keep weeds away by blocking the sunlight they need in order to prosper and sprout up. Even better, they can help protect plants and soil in those random, Florida freezes. In other words, neither the sun’s scorches or winter’s frozen fingers will reach your soil and roots.

More than that, mulch just looks tidy and well-tended. If you’re lacking some composure in a few areas of your landscape, consider adding a layer of mulch to bring everything together – there are dozens of options when it comes to texture and color, so you’ll be able to pick the right one for you!

Even as mulch decomposes, it’s breaking down and helping to fertilize your soil, so no matter what stage of life your mulch is in, it’s doing good work for your landscape and garden.

Why Mulch Might Be Tricky

Like we said about the rocks, there’s always going to be a few negatives to weigh in your decision, and mulch is no exception.

With mulch, you’ll need to deal with replacing every year as it breaks down – in other words, it’s a reoccurring cost, in both terms of time and expense.

There is such a thing as too much mulch, too, so you’ll need to be extremely careful with how thick of a layer the mulch is.

Mulching also requires good timing – too late and you’ll have weeds because you won’t be able to stop them quickly, and too early and you’ll have to deal with late blooms that are slowed by the soil temperatures.

The beautiful part about mulch negatives is that they don’t have to be. Sure, mulching can be a bit complex and might require a bit of care, but with mulching services from certified professionals, you’re able to reap all the benefits of mulch without having to deal with the mulch negatives. In other words, experts can help you take those minor mulch issues and erase them altogether!

How to Implement Mulch in Your Landscape

Mulch is a great choice for landscapes that struggle to retain moisture in their soil, as well as have too much exposure to the hot, Florida sun. It keeps your soil at just the right temperature no matter what the external factors are.

Additionally, if you’re just planting beds, looking to line trees, or want to implement texture in your landscape, mulch is a fabulous choice.

Unkempt lawns and landscapes will undoubtedly benefit from mulch, as well as untidy garden areas – a thin layer of mulch can help to straighten up and neaten even the messiest of areas!

We hope that our ode to rocks and mulch was both helpful and exciting to read. After all, at Landcrafters, we strive to not just set up a gorgeous landscape for you but provide you with the tools and resources to keep it up to your standards! If you’re interested in reading up on more of our insights, advice, and tips, check out our weekly blog that features regular updates! Want to chat with us directly, talk about a quote for your landscape, or just ask a few landscape related questions? Perfect! Give our office a call at (727)-201-3947. We can’t wait to hear from you!