Your landscape design should be both visually appealing and functional when it comes to your plant beds. Ground covers like mulch and rock have the important duty of protecting your plants from weeds and extreme weather conditions, whilst this is true, it shouldn't compromise your property's overall curb appeal. Mulch and rock add the finishing touches to your landscape for a complete and pristine appearance. Without it your lawn may look like something's missing and your plants will be fully exposed to the elements.

There are a few differences between mulch and rock in terms of cost, maintenance, popularity, and curb appeal. This blog will give you all the information you need to choose the ground cover that best complements your plants and landscape.

Continue reading to make an informed decision on whether to install mulch or rock on your property.


A landscape bed topped with mulch on a property in Elkhard, IN.

Cost: Mulch is a relatively inexpensive groundcover when it comes to the actual material and labor it takes to install. Because it does need to be refreshed occasionally, you'll run into ongoing maintenance and material fees in the long run. The installation of mulch is a fairly easy process as all that is needed is labor and the mulch itself.

Maintenance: As stated above, mulch needs to be refreshed once or twice a year to maintain a neat and clean appearance. If mulch isn't occasionally changed out, it'll begin to naturally breakdown and become dull in color. This small factor has the potential to decrease the overall curb appeal of your property.

Curb Appeal: Mulch is a great option if you're seeking versatility in your lawn. It comes in a plethora of colors including red, brown, and black which allow you to play with different color combinations within your landscape. The size of the mulch can also range from little bark nuggets to jumbo mulch pieces.

Popularity: Mulch is a more popular groundcover among homeowners because it creates a seamless blend between your plant beds. It also supplies plants with organic nutrients as it slowly breaks down over time. Homeowners who live in a mostly hot or cold climate lean more towards mulch because it adds a layer of protection during extreme weather conditions.


A landscape bed topped with rocks on a property in Elkhart, IN.

Cost: As a groundcover, rock costs more upfront for the material and the labor that it requires. Landscapers need more than just basic labor to install rock. A wheelbarrow is needed to bring rocks on-site and the rock has to be manually placed within the landscape. So, the upfront cost of rock is higher but they'll be minimal ongoing maintenance fees down the line.

Maintenance: Rock is a sturdy natural material that doesn't need to be constantly refreshed or replaced. The rule of thumb is to replace your landscape rocks every few years. In-between replacements, the material can simply be rinsed with water to keep them looking tidy and clean.

Curb Appeal: Your personal preference style will help you determine whether rock perfectly complements your property or not. For those who love a clean, modern look, rock will be your best friend when it comes to a groundcover. Its geometrical edges and slick corners will give your landscape a sleek, contemporary feel.

Popularity: Property owners love the low-maintenance factor of a rock installation. People who live in areas where wildfires tend to break out are more prone to go with a rock groundcover because of its nonflammable characteristic. Rocks are also a great deterrent to soil erosion because of their ability to create an effective barrier when placed one beside the other.

Mulch and rock are both great groundcovers. Let our team help you decide which one is best for your property!

A landscape design simply isn't complete without mulch or decorative rock to accent your plants and landscape beds. Depending on the individual needs of your property, mulch or rock may complement your property better. Our professional landscapers can help you decide on a groundcover for your property in Elkhart, Granger or a nearby city in IN. Give our team a call at (574) 326-3526 today!