What Is Mulch (And Why Use It?)

Let’s dive right in and talk about something close to my heart: mulch.

After all, that’s exactly why I created this website. To educate and teach everything about mulch.

You might be asking, “What exactly is mulch?”

It’s pretty straightforward – mulch is a layer of material spread on top of the soil. But why do we use it, and what makes it so special for our gardens?

Here’s the scoop: mulch works wonders for your soil. And when your soil is happy, your garden thrives – from your veggies to your flowers, fruits, and everything in between.

Let’s explore how mulch works and why it’s something you need in your garden.

How Does Mulch Work?

Mulching is an essential garden practice. You are literally protecting your garden and saving all your hard work in the process.

Here are 6 ways mulch works.

1. Mulch Slows Down Erosion

Erosion is a natural and inevitable process that will wear down your garden. This might sound a bit daunting, but here’s the good news: mulch can be a real game-changer in battling erosion.

Now, when I say erosion, I’m talking about how wind, rain, and even hail can gradually chip away at your garden. By applying mulch, you’re essentially giving your soil a shield against these elements.

Imagine this scenario: a heavy downpour hits your area.

Without protection, valuable nutrients in your soil, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, could simply wash away. These are the lifeblood of your garden, crucial for healthy plant growth.

Here’s where mulch steps in to save the day. Not only does it help retain these essential nutrients, but as it breaks down, it also enriches your soil with new nutrients.

It’s a double win: mulch replenishes what’s lost and guards what’s there.

2. Mulch Suppresses Weeds

A layer of mulch blocks sunlight and prevents any hidden weed seeds from germinating.

We all know that weeds are not good for your garden. These unwanted plants compete against the plants you actually do want. They compete for sunlight, nutrients, water and space. Having some weeds is OK, having too many weeds is a big no.

Imagine you’ve spent the morning weeding and planting, your back’s a bit sore, but your garden looks better already. Now, by spreading a layer of mulch over your freshly tended soil, you’re essentially putting a protective barrier in place. This barrier keeps hidden weed seeds from ever seeing the light of day – literally.

And here’s a little secret I’ve discovered – weeding becomes a breeze when you have mulch already layed.

Any weeds that manage to break through are much easier to spot against the mulch backdrop and easier to pull out.

3. Slows Down Evaporation (And Retains Moisture)

Slows Down Evaporation

When it rains, soil absorbs moisture. By having mulch on top of the soil, this wet soil will take longer to dry out as it is not directly exposed to sunlight.

Mulch’s ability to slow down evaporation is especially effective in two ways:

1) It’s great for plants that are already dry, malnourished or have exposed roots (these are prone to losing water faster).

2) It works very well for absorbing and retaining moisture. Mulch can hold water and prevent it from running off from your soil (and taking valuable nutrients with it too). It’ll hold on to moisture longer, giving it time to seep into the soil and water your plants.

All in all, makes water work better for your garden.

4. Regulates Temperature

Mulch can act like a blanket for your garden. It helps to protect the soil from extreme temperatures – both hot and cold.

As you know, extreme temperature fluctuations are not good for plants. Mulch keeps plants insulated by keeping the soil at more consistent temperatures.

This is especially important in colder seasons when temperatures can drop very low and cause frost heave (where water freezes and expands, pushing plants out of the ground).

In warmer seasons, mulch can help keep the soil cooler, reducing the risk of heat stress for your plants (very handy for shallow-rooted plants!)

For this reason, I always recommend to mulch or refresh you mulch before fall in colder climates, or spring in warmer areas.

Read more here on the best time to mulch.

5. Improves The Soil

Many mulches will improve the nutrient content of your soil.

I say many, because not all mulches are organic. Inorganic mulches like rubber or stone will virtually add zero nutrients to the soil since they do not decompose.

If you’ve used an organic mulch like wood chips, it will slowly decompose into your soil.

As it breaks down, it releases nutrients back into the soil. These are essential elements for plant growth.

The addition of organic matter provided in mulch also helps improve soil structure. Soil will loosen up and have improved drainage and aeration. This is especially beneficial for compacted or clay soils which tend to be heavy and harder to work with.

As a result, plant roots will have an easier time penetrating the soil and developing properly. They have an easier time absorbing nutrients and water.

Furthermore, as mulch decomposes, it attracts earthworms and other beneficial microbes that help break down organic matter further and create healthy topsoil. This creates a more hospitable environment for plant growth, leading to healthier and stronger plants.

6. Mulch Saves Time & Money

Mulch Saves Time & Money

An often-overlooked advantages of mulch is how much time and money it saves. We use mulch to increase the chance that our precious plants – be it vegetables, fruits, trees or flowers – not only survive but thrive.

To recap some of the points I’ve made:

Mulch slows down evaporation – that means less lawn maintenance and less time replacing lost materials. You’ll save on water and prevent your plants from drying out.

Mulch suppresses weeds. That means less time weeding. It’ll also lower the costs and time for replanting new plants that were killed by overgrown weeds. You won’t need to spend hours pulling out pesky weeds, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your garden.

Using mulch will reduce your reliance on fertilizers or pesticides. The right mulch applied properly will reduce the need for these chemicals as it essentially will do the job of both.

All in all, much will keep your plants alive and looking good. It’ll make your garden more attractive too.

Using mulch is a no brainer and should be in every gardener’s toolbox.

However, not all mulches are made the same. I was mentioning earlier that there are two types of mulches – organic and inorganic.

Let’s go through the most common ones so you can get a feeling for which mulch would work best for you.

What Is Mulch Made Of?

What exactly is mulch is very broad. After all, mulch is technically something you can apply to the top layer of soil.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of mulch – organic and inorganic.

Organic mulch can include things like wood chips, bark, leaves, straw. These materials are natural and will decompose over time into the soil.

Inorganic mulch can include things like gravel, stones, plastic sheeting or rubber mulch. These materials do not break down and remain in place for a longer period of time.

Organic Mulch

The biggest benefit of organic mulch is its ability to improve the soil. As it decomposes, it adds nutrients to the soil and helps retain moisture for your plants. This means you won’t have to water as frequently, and your plants will be healthier overall.

Let’s go through some common (and not so common) organic mulches.

Wood Mulch (Shredded & Chipped)

When you opt for shredded or chipped wood as your mulch choice, you’re in for a treat.

This type of mulch slowly breaks down, enriching your soil with nutrients over time. This means you won’t have to worry about replacing it often – expect several years of use before it’s time for a refresh.

Particularly, shredded wood mulch has a knack for locking together, which significantly reduces the chances of it being swept away by wind or water, unlike its bark and chipped wood counterparts.

Wood Mulch

However, let’s talk about something important before you go mulch shopping. Not all wood mulches are created equal.

Some of the cheaper options might be tempting, but they often come from lower quality wood sources like pallets. These types can break down much faster and may even introduce unwanted chemicals and dyes into your precious soil. This is a big no-no, especially for vegetable gardens where you want to keep things as natural as possible.

And what about dyed wood mulches?

Whilst having the reds, browns, blacks of dyed mulch can add great contrast to your landscape, be careful of harmful chemicals that can be absorbed by your plants or seep into the ground and affect local water sources.

To avoid these problems, opt for non-dyed wood sources that come from a high-quality source. If you’re set on colored mulch, make sure it’s tinted with natural dyes that won’t introduce harmful chemicals into your soil.

And if you’re keen on making an eco-friendly choice, consider sourcing your wood mulch locally. Reach out to local arborists or landscapers who chip trees and branches right from your community.

Not only does this support local businesses, but it also cuts down on plastic waste since this mulch is often sold or delivered in bulk.


Not only does compost keep your soil moist, but it also keeps those weeds under wraps and enriches the soil. The best part? You can make it using what you already have – kitchen scraps and garden waste.

Here’s how to do it: start by adding your kitchen scraps (think vegetable peels, coffee grounds) and chopped-up garden waste to your compost bin. The trick here is to give it a good turn every few months to help it break down evenly. With a little patience, you’ll have rich, usable compost ready in about six to 12 months.

Remember, making your own compost isn’t just good for your garden; it’s a fantastic way to reduce waste. Plus, it’s incredibly satisfying to see your garden thrive thanks to the effort you’ve put into creating this natural, nutrient-rich mulch.


Bark mulch is a favorite among gardeners who aim to combine functionality with aesthetic appeal in their landscapes.

Bark adds a polished look to your garden beds, creating a contrast that truly makes your plants pop. It also decomposes more slowly than many other types of wood mulches, so you get to enjoy its benefits for a longer period without needing to replenish it as often.

However, no garden solution is without its quirks. Bark mulch, while sturdy, does have a tendency to move during heavy rainfalls. It’s a bit lighter and can get carried away by water easier than its shredded or chipped counterparts.

I’ve found that bark mulch shines the brightest when used around trees, shrubs, and in garden beds where the soil isn’t disturbed too often.

For areas like front walkways and foundation plantings, bark mulch is an excellent choice. It lays down a welcoming mat of natural texture and color that enhances curb appeal instantly.

Now, here’s something to keep in mind: bark mulch and soil are a bit like oil and water – they don’t mix. This characteristic makes bark mulch less ideal if you’re someone who loves rearranging your garden often or if you’re planting new seedlings every other week.

Imagine having to push aside a layer of bark mulch each time you want to plant something new – it can get tiresome.

But let’s not overlook the silver lining. The fact that bark mulch doesn’t integrate well into the soil is precisely why it lasts longer. It sits on top, acting as a protective barrier, conserving moisture, and suppressing weeds, all while gradually breaking down at a snail’s pace. This longevity is a boon, especially if you’re looking to reduce garden maintenance time.

Shredded Leaves

Now, you might be thinking, “Leaves? Can’t I just let them lie where they fall?” Well, yes and no.

Whole leaves can form a mat that smothers your plants, blocking air and water from reaching the soil. But when you shred those leaves, you’re turning a potential garden problem into black gold for your soil.

Shredded Leaves

Shredded leaves are a powerhouse in the garden. They allow for excellent air and water exchange and decompose more quickly than whole leaves. This means they enrich the soil faster, feeding your plants and providing all the benefits of an organic mulch. And the best part? It’s practically free!

Just use your lawn mower. Mow over those fallen leaves with a mulching blade or a mulching mower, especially if you have a lot of leaves. The mower chops them up, making them ready to use in your garden. It’s efficient, eco-friendly, and economical.

Leaf Mold

Leaf mold is essentially what you get when you allow fallen leaves to decompose over time. It’s somewhere between the freshly fallen leaves and the rich humus you find on a forest floor.

The beauty of leaf mold lies in its simplicity and the magic it performs on your soil. It’s particularly famous in the United Kingdom, where gardeners have long understood its value in creating a healthy soil microbiome.

This not only boosts the nutrients available to your plants but also improves soil structure, making it a dream come true for any gardener.

Now, you might be wondering how leaf mold differs from using shredded leaves directly in your garden. While shredded leaves do decompose faster and add organic matter to the soil, leaf mold takes this a step further.

Through its slower decomposition process, it becomes incredibly rich in beneficial fungi and bacteria, which are essential for nutrient cycling in the soil. Plus, leaf mold has an unparalleled ability to retain water, making it an excellent mulch that keeps your plants hydrated.

Creating leaf mold is surprisingly straightforward. You don’t need fancy equipment or even a designated compost bin. Any pile of organic material, including a simple heap of leaves, will eventually turn into compost or, in this case, leaf mold. The key here is patience.

While some purists might wait up to two years to achieve the perfect leaf mold, you can start using it as soon as it looks right to you. This means that even if it hasn’t fully transformed into soil-like material, it can still work wonders as a mulch in your garden.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, integrating leaf mold into your gardening practice can significantly impact the health and beauty of your green space.

In essence, both shredded leaves and leaf mold offer unique benefits. While shredded leaves are a quick way to add organic matter to your soil, leaf mold is about playing the long game, nurturing your garden’s foundation for years to come.


Grass clippings, the aftermath of a good lawn mowing session, can do wonders for your vegetable patch and beyond. But, like any gardening technique, there’s a right and a wrong way to use them.

First off, when I say grass mulch, I’m talking about those fresh clippings from your lawn. They’re not just yard waste; think of them as free fertilizer. In my experience, applying a layer of 1 or 2 inches of these clippings around your plants can make a significant difference.

They help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and add back nutrients as they decompose. However, it’s crucial to avoid piling them on too thickly. Why? Because they can start to overheat and harm your plants instead of helping them.


Sometimes, I like to give my grass clippings a head start by letting them partially compost. I’ll pile them up in a corner of the yard (yes, they might smell a bit at first) and let them sit for a few days or even weeks. This method is a bit gentler on the garden and can reduce some of the potential downsides of using fresh clippings directly.

If you’re using a mulch mower, chances are you don’t need to do this at all. The grass clippings will be so small that they’d break down very quickly.

Now, I need to stress an important point: be cautious with treated grass. If you’ve recently applied herbicides or other chemicals to your lawn, hold off on using those clippings in your garden.

Wait until you’ve mown the lawn at least three times after treatment before considering those clippings safe for use.

The last thing you want is to accidentally harm your vegetable garden with lingering chemicals.

Grass mulch isn’t perfect for every situation. It can get slimy, develop an odor as it breaks down, and if laid on too thick, it can mat together and block water from reaching the soil.

That’s why I sometimes prefer to leave the clippings on the lawn with a mulching mower. This way, they feed the soil directly where they fall, adding fertility without any extra effort.

For those who collect their clippings, remember don’t just toss them out, especially if they’re untreated. These clippings are gold for open, unplanted areas of your garden where you’re looking to suppress weeds or simply add organic matter to the soil.


In my years of gardening, I’ve come to appreciate the humble straw mulch for its multifaceted role in the garden.

Let me share with you why straw mulch should be a staple in your gardening arsenal, especially if you have a soft spot for strawberries or maintain a vegetable garden.

Firstly, if you’re like me and cherish the taste of fresh-picked strawberries, you’ll find straw mulch invaluable. During winter, I layer straw around my strawberry beds to protect the dormant flower buds from the harsh cold.

This method ensures that the plants aren’t smothered while still safeguarding them against freezing temperatures. It’s an effective strategy that has consistently rewarded me with bountiful harvests come spring.

For those of us residing in regions that experience severe winters, straw mulch serves as a protective blanket for not only strawberries but also perennials, roses, and other tender plants. Its insulating properties are unmatched, providing a cozy barrier against the cold without stifling your plants.

When it comes to sourcing straw mulch, many garden centers and farm supply stores keep it in stock year-round. However, a crucial tip is to opt for dry bales to avoid mold issues.

Straw mulch shines in the vegetable garden. It prevents soil and soil-borne diseases from splashing onto lower plant leaves, reducing the risk of disease spread. Plus, it makes navigating garden paths less of a muddy hassle after rain. Thanks to its slow decomposition rate, a single application can last the entire growing season, making it an economical choice.

Another less talked about benefit is how straw mulch becomes a haven for beneficial insects. Spiders and other helpful critters often take up residence in the straw, aiding in natural pest control.

When the growing season draws to a close, straw mulch can either be raked up or worked directly into the soil, enriching it for next year’s planting.

Cocoa Bean Shells

Cocoa Bean Shells

This is a mulch that is likely not on everyone’s radar. Cocoa bean shells are a byproduct of chocolate production and have become increasingly popular as a mulch and eco-friendly option.

Not only do these shells offer a striking deep brown aesthetic to your garden, but they also release a delightful chocolate scent in the initial weeks after application.

However, you probably want to use cocoa bean shells selectively, primarily due to their price point, which is a tad higher compared to other mulches.

They’re perfect for smaller, high-visibility areas or a large annual container where their unique qualities can truly shine without breaking the bank. Think of them as the special accent in your garden that draws the eye and sparks conversation.

Now, before you rush out to get yourself a bag, there’s a crucial consideration for pet owners. Cocoa bean shells are toxic to dogs. If ingested, they can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea and vomiting to muscle tremors, and in severe cases, it could be fatal.

When applying cocoa bean shells, treat them as you would any mulch. Spread them evenly around your plants, ensuring a thin layer that’s sufficient to suppress weeds and retain moisture without suffocating your plants. Over time, they’ll break down, enriching your soil with organic matter.

Hazelnut Shells

Just like cocoa been shells, the aesthetic appeal of hazelnut shells cannot be overstated.

Their pretty amber hue adds a warm, inviting glow to garden beds, creating a striking contrast against the cool tones of violet and sage green plants. It’s like having a piece of autumn year-round, enhancing the visual appeal of your garden.

Now, I understand that cost is always a consideration. Yes, hazelnut shell mulch is on the pricier side, but here’s where the long game comes into play.

Unlike other organic mulches that need frequent topping up, hazelnut shells break down more slowly. This means you’re not replenishing your mulch every season, which can actually make it a cost-effective option in the long run.

For those of us who have faced the frustration of mulch scattering after a windy day or heavy rain, you’ll find solace in using hazelnut shells. Their lightweight nature might raise concerns, but they perform remarkably well on flat surfaces, staying put where you need them most. This stability is especially valuable in maintaining the neat appearance of your garden beds and paths.

Opting for hazelnut shell mulch is also quite sustainable as it is a by-product of hazelnut production.

Pine Needles

Also known as pine straw, these little wonders are more than just the leftovers from your evergreen trees but can be effectively used as mulch.

Firstly, let’s address the big question about soil acidity. There’s a common belief floating around that pine needles will turn your soil into an acid bath.

Here’s the real deal: yes, pine needles can nudge your soil pH a bit on the acidic side, but it’s such a gentle nudge that most plants won’t even blink.

Pine Needles

In fact, this slight acidity is a boon for acid-loving beauties like azaleas and blueberries.

And if you’re wondering about fresh vs. aged pine needles, keep in mind that fresh needles might add a tad more acidity. However, it’s still within the range most garden plants can happily thrive in.

Now, why should you consider using pine needles in your garden?

For starters, they’re incredibly user-friendly. Lightweight and easy to spread, pine needles create a fluffy layer over your soil. This isn’t just for looks; this airy blanket allows water and air to reach the soil effortlessly, which is vital for healthy plant growth. Plus, they don’t compact over time, meaning you won’t have to fluff or replace them as often as other mulches.

Aim for a 2- to 3-inch layer. It’s the sweet spot for retaining moisture, suppressing weeds, and providing enough insulation without suffocating your plants.

Mushroom Compost

Mushroom compost isn’t just your run-of-the-mill compost; think of it as a rich blend of organic materials coming together in perfect harmony.

This mix has already done its part in growing commercially farmed mushrooms, featuring ingredients like peat moss, ground corn cobs, crushed grapes from wineries, animal manure, hay, or straw.

After helping mushrooms grow, this mixture can be used as mulch in gardens.

You might wonder, after being used so intensively, what good can it still do? Well, plenty! Mushroom compost doesn’t just change the soil’s structure – it excels in retaining moisture and insulating plants against extreme temperatures, from the scorching summer heat to the chill of winter.

But here’s something to keep an eye on: soluble salts. While they can be a concern for seedlings, research suggests their levels are typically low enough not to cause issues. Still, it’s something to be mindful of and I would err on the side of caution to know where you getting your mushroom compost from and what it consists of.

Another intriguing aspect is its alkalinity. With a high pH (around 6.6), mushroom compost is a dream come true for lime-loving veggies like kale, cabbages, and broccoli. Yet, this very trait means it’s not the best match for plants favoring more acidic conditions.

In essence, mushroom compost brings benefits to your garden, offering a unique mix that supports growth in many ways. Just remember to match it with the right plants to truly tap into its potential.


In my gardening adventures, I’ve tried all sorts of mulching materials, but one standout has been the humble newspaper.

Today, with most newspapers switching to soy-based black inks and using hydrogen peroxide for bleaching, they’re even safer for our beloved gardens. Still, it’s best to steer clear of colored or glossy inks, that can add nasty chemicals to your garden.

I’ve found newspaper mulch to be incredibly valuable and cheap! It keeps plant roots snug and hydrated, very much like how it cushions items during shipping. Its knack for holding soil moisture, beating back weeds, and balancing soil temperature is on par with other organic mulches out there.

And if you’re looking to smother grass under new garden beds, newspaper mulch is your go-to.

To get newspaper working in your garden, just lay four to eight sheets around your plants. I’ve learned that wetting the sheets a bit before laying them down helps keep them in place – no more chasing runaway papers on windy days.

To boost its weed-fighting power, topping the newspaper with 1 to 3 inches of another organic mulch works wonders throughout the growing season.

Inorganic Mulch

Inorganic Mulch

Inorganic mulches refer to materials such as gravel, pebbles, and landscape fabric. Unlike organic mulches that break down over time, inorganic mulches retain their structure and appearance for years.

These types of mulch are often used in more formal gardens or landscapes where a specific aesthetic is desired. They also work well in areas prone to erosion or with heavy foot traffic.

Inorganic mulch does not improve soil health or add nutrients like organic mulches do. However, they can still help with moisture retention and weed suppression.


Stone, gravel, pebbles – there all rocks of some form. These materials aren’t just a treat for the eyes; they’re practical too, especially if you’re cultivating drought-loving plants as rocks don’t retain moisture.

However, I always advise using them with care. In shaded areas, they’re perfect because they reduce the risk of overheating your soil and plants.

But here’s a crucial piece of advice: avoid laying them over plastic. Why? Because gravel can harm the life beneath the surface by overheating the roots and killing the soil microbiome. It’s something many gardeners overlook.

Now, in spaces that need good drainage or a bit of warmth – think Mediterranean herb gardens or rain gardens – gravel and stone are fantastic. They create the right conditions for these specific plant types to thrive.

But remember, once you choose stone or gravel, changing your mind won’t be easy. They’re quite permanent. So, pause and ponder before making that decision.

Plastic Sheeting & Landscape Fabric

Plastic Sheeting & Landscape Fabric

When it comes to weed control around your foundation plantings or the shrubs and trees in your garden, you might be considering plastic and landscape fabric.

These options are pretty handy because, let’s face it, we don’t want to spend our summers constantly weeding. Plus, these areas usually don’t need frequent fertilization, so it’s a set-it-and-forget-it kind of deal.

But here’s the catch with plastic: it can turn into an oven during the summer. Sure, it smothers weed seeds, but it can also harm the good stuff in the soil, like beneficial microbes and even plant roots if there isn’t enough moisture around.

So, if you’re going down the plastic route, remember to cut holes for water access. If you notice puddles forming on top, that’s a red flag for insufficient drainage. Landscape fabric is more forgiving since it’s porous, but you’ll want to check it’s not getting clogged over time.

Keep an eye out: as landscape fabric ages or suffers from the inevitable wear and tear, it might start to let weeds sneak through.

If you spot tears or areas where the fabric seems thin, it might be time for a little DIY patch-up job or even considering a replacement in parts where it’s beyond repair.

If you’re not a fan of how plastic or landscape fabric looks but love their functionality, consider adding a thin layer of bark mulch on top for a more natural appearance. Keep in mind, though, as the bark breaks down, it might invite weed seeds to settle on top. And yes, you’ll need to refresh the bark mulch as it decomposes.

For those of you crafting raised beds, aligning them with the width of your plastic or fabric can help avoid any unwanted seams.

Remember, while plastic sheeting and landscape fabric can be great for weed suppression, they come with their own set of considerations. Some types may break down over time, potentially releasing plastics into your garden and the environment. Plus, impermeable materials could prevent rain, air, or nutrients from reaching the soil, which isn’t ideal for the health of your plants.

Rubber mulch

Rubber mulch is another option for weed suppression, as well as a more durable alternative to bark mulch. It’s made from recycled tires and, therefore, can last much longer than natural mulches.

However, rubber mulch has been controversial due to its potential negative effects on the environment and human health (and dogs too). While it does provide excellent weed control and stays in place well, it may leach toxic chemicals into the soil over time. This can affect the growth and health of your plants, as well as potentially harm beneficial insects and wildlife.

If you do decide to use rubber mulch in your garden, make sure to do thorough research on its source and production methods. Look for companies that use non-toxic materials and processes and avoid using it near edible plants to prevent any contamination.

Recycled Tumbled Glass

This innovative material, made from repurposed glass bottles, windows, and even crockery, is not only an eco-friendly choice but also brings a splash of color to any garden space.

Available in a variety of vibrant colors, it’s perfect for those shaded spots in your garden where you want to add a bit of flair without retaining too much moisture – ideal for plants that thrive in dry, rocky conditions.

However, there’s a bit of know-how involved in using tumbled glass effectively. To prevent it from mixing into the soil, I recommend using a landscape fabric or plastic beneath it.

But here’s the catch – both of these underlays have their downsides. Landscape fabric, while porous, can eventually get clogged, affecting water filtration. On the other hand, plastic restricts water filtration from the get-go and might overheat your soil in sunny spots.

Use tumbled glass sparingly. Consider creating strips or smaller areas mixed with other materials to keep your garden visually interesting without overwhelming it. This way, you strike a balance between aesthetics and plant health.

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