When you look around at commercial landscapes in Northeast Ohio, you’ll see lovely plant materials, full trees and organized hardscapes and landscape beds.
In those beds, you’ll also see a variety of material surrounding the plants in the beds -- shredded hardwood mulch or stone. In fact, looking at these two aesthetics might make you question which one is better for your facility.
Well, let’s just say the answer to this question isn’t set in stone. You have to look at the pros and cons of mulch or stone and determine which one is right for your site.
Commercial Landscaping With Mulch Or Stone
Both stone and mulch have their place in Northeast Ohio commercial landscapes.
Whether you manage an HOA, retail center, office park, hospital, industrial facility, or college or university campus, your surroundings should smoothly align with your building architecture, style, and budget. And these materials can create the aesthetic you’re looking for, in addition to providing other benefits for your property.
Let’s learn more about mulch vs. stone to help you determine your favorite.
Landscaping With Mulch
Mulch is used more often for Turfscape clients -- 80% typically choose mulch over stone.
And mulch has some clear advantages.
Double shredded hardwood mulch helps retain moisture in the soil, and keeps plant roots at an even temperature. It’s good for the soil by adding nutrients to it as it breaks down, and it helps suppress weeds.
You can get mulch in brown, which is most popular, but also black as well. And mulch is relatively inexpensive at $60 to $70 per yard installed.
In the mulch vs. stone debate, mulch also has a couple of disadvantages.
Because mulch breaks down over time, you do have to reapply it each year so it continues to do its job. Since mulch is lighter than stone, weeds can occasionally push through, especially if your layer is getting thin. If wind blows it around, mulch can also be harder to clean up than stone. And if it’s super dry out, it can catch fire more easily than rock.
Landscaping With Stone
Many commercial properties also find advantages to using stone in their landscapes. Typically, this is river rock that comes in a mix of beiges, tans, and bits of gray and light blue.
First of all, after putting stone in your beds, you don’t have to replace it every year. It’s also fire and wind resistant, as well as great at suppressing those weeds.
Stone is excellent for high-traffic areas because it can take a beating. So if you have areas where people tend to cut through on your property instead of using the walkway, stone is great for these spots.
When it comes to mulch or stone for commercial landscapes, stone is better for helping drainage. If you have areas that hold water, stone can help keep them less soggy, draining this excess water slowly through the river rock.
River rock keeps its look for quite some time, as well, but it does cost more than mulch at $100 to $120 per yard installed. You also have to consider that when you apply mulch, you apply a 2-inch layer, but when you apply stone, 1 yard won’t have the same coverage. So you double your price, but you don’t have to replace it annually.
Stone also doesn’t break down and provide nutrients to the soil like mulch. Additionally, only certain plants grow well in a rock bed. Usually they are hardier and can survive in more basic soil. These include ornamental grasses and plants like sedum, yarrow, and Russian sage.
Mulch or Stone? Either Way, Trust Turfscape
In the battle of mulch vs. stone, there is no clear winner. Personal preference and your properties specifications, as well as budget, can dictate your final decision.
Remember, without some kind of landscaping material in your beds, they will likely sprout more weeds and lack that polished, clean look you’re after to help attract tenants, customers, buyers, students, and visitors.
As you ponder the mulch or stone question, let us help. We’re experts in these materials and can steer you toward the choice that best fits your unique commercial property.
Want to learn more about our mulch and stone services in Northeast Ohio? Get started today with a free quote. We’ll review your options together so you can feel confident and make a great choice.