Looking for guidance on what type of mulch to use in my garden

Asked April 7, 2020, 3:54 PM EDT

We have a landscaped garden that wraps around the back and side of our house. We've only lived here for one year, but the previous owner paid for landscaping services, and the plants/trees are pretty well established. I have done a bit of reading on the pros and cons, and I am leaning toward something a bit on the chunky side, darker in color. I've heard bark is better than shredded wood, but I really don't know. I was considering airport bark, or medium hemlock bark, but wasn't sure if there was any generalized guidance that I could apply. - mature landscaping - I'd like a weed barrier - I have a dog that will walk on it all the time, and I'm leaning toward bigger chunks to avoid it getting stuck in fir - I was considering ordering from here (these options) but am not locked on any one provider if other options are better https://portlandsandandgravel.com/residential/#soils-and-bark-dust I would be happy to send photos of current landscaping if that'd be helpful! Thank you so much.

Multnomah County Oregon

3 Responses

Thank you for your question. You are obviously a very thoughtful gardener, so, rather than give you the "Cliff's Notes" answer, I'm going to refer you to this very comprehensive Extension publication: https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/ec1629.pdf

Before you put down a weed barrier, you might be interested in this WSU Extension article (which I wish I had read before laying down half an acre of it--and then having to remove it): https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/403/2015/03/landscape-fabric.pdf

Insofar as purveyors of mulch are concerned, as a state university, we are unable to endorse or promote one commercial establishment over another. But, I'm sure your research will produce a reliable source. Good luck!

This is super helpful. Thank you for your quick and thorough response. I will dig into those resources you suggested! And yeah - totally understand not attaching to any specific vendor, or speaking on behalf of any individual product line they may offer.