When to use landscaping bark as a mulch

Landscaping bark has a lot of uses within a garden, but why would you choose a bark over gravel or pebbles if you want to use it for decorative purposes? Is it just for decorative purposes or can it help your plants by using it as mulch?

Here's our guide to when to use landscaping bark as a mulch.

For a decorative finish

This is an obvious one, but using bark chippings as a decorative finish will give a lovely look to your garden, and is a more natural choice than a gravel or pebble finish. If you're going for a more natural look, using it in areas with wildflowers, or lots of shrubs and trees, bark blends more naturally, whilst still providing a tidy finish. It also has a number of additional properties to support your plants' healthy growth and to protect them, so it makes a good choice.

To help plants retain water

Using bark as a mulch will also help plants to retain water, which is ideal for those that need a lot of watering, and if you live in an area with a lower than average rainfall. It will also help your plants to stay moist in the summer when rainfall is low.

To protect the roots in winter

Apply a landscaping bark mulch in the autumn whilst the soil is still warm and moist, and this will help protect your plants' roots during the harsh winter periods.

Bare soil allows movement which can cause smaller plants or those without a deep root to be exposed, which can cause damage. During periods of warmer weather, plants may think it's time to grow again and can then be damaged when the frost returns. A bark mulch will help prevent this by keeping the ground covered.

Use landscaping bark when you want to suppress weeds

Bark also provides a natural deterrent to weeds, which means you'll spend less time on your hands and knees tidying the garden, and more time enjoying it.

To use landscaping bark as mulch, you will need at least a 5cm to 7.5cm thick layer. Visit the Royal Horticultural Society's website for more information on mulches.

Lay a mulch from mid to late spring or in autumn for best results in protecting from the winter cold and summer drought.

It's important you buy the right bark to use as a mulch. This Rolawn landscaping bark gives a lovely dark brown coverage and is a multi-use bark so is ideal to use as mulch.