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Many homeowner ask me this question: is stone mulch better than wood mulch? One short answer: it depends on your need and the area you want to apply. Here are some breif descriptions of each pros and cons.
ADVANTAGES: It does a wonderful job keeping water in the soil and plant moisturized. The ground temperature is more consistent under wood mulches, keeps the soil cooler in summer and warmer in winter. As organic material, it is enviromentally friendly, and over time, as the mulch decays it adds nutrients to the soil. The broken down material becomes topsoil and improves the soil structure. Of course, it is cost efficient initially compare to stones.
DISADVANTAGES: It requires repetitive application every couple of years, and the color will fade over time. Wood mulches can attract insects and small animals. And because it retains moisture, it is possible to grow mold.
ADVANTAGES: project formal and high-end look. Stone is a permanent solution to problematic area with almost no maintenance. It doesn't require replenish! Wider selections on the color and texture for customized look. It also eliminated the fungus and insects problems.
DISADVANTAGES: It will not suppress weeds as well and it has larger upfront cost. Plant selections will be limited to ones that can well tolerant over-heating in summer.