Mulch or Lava rock?

iliketreesApril 22, 2013

I am preparing to do some landscaping around the house. I would like to use either black lava rock or black mulch and am looking for pros and cons of using both. Obviously the rock is more expensive but I won't need to change it every year. I plan on using fabric underneath and wondering how each will perform with weeds. This is my first landscaping project so I appreciate any help.

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Don't use fabric.
And don't use rocks.

I would use only mulch- it degrades and nourishes the earth, it keeps moisture in the soil, and helps keep roots cool.
Plus when you refresh it every year or so it makes everything look all new again.
Rocks, once put down, are forever and someday somehow you will want them gone and be unable to gather them all up. You'll be forced to hire neighborhood kids for a penny a rock.
They just become unsightly and bake everything underneath.
As far as the fabric there are varying viewpoints but I do not find that it suppresses weeds all that well (birds still drop seeds that germinate on top) and there is evidence that it disrupts gas exchange and beneficial soil organisms. Roots need air.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 10:59AM
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Second that!! I agree with everything in the previous post - no rocks, no weed cloth. Both create a lot more work than they prevent.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 3:45PM
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ken_mce(zone 4, NY)

Dirt drifts into the rocks and then you get weeds growing in it anyhow. Mulch feeds the soil, is easy to work through.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 8:19PM
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Rock would probably be better at blocking weeds, but wouldn't black rock get awfully hot in the summer, and cook the plants?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 1:45AM
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