Mulch vs. Gravel: Which is Better for Your Landscaping?

gravel & mulch supplier in PAMulch and gravel play an important role in garden and landscaping projects. Think of them as the icing on the cake that is your property: a pleasant finishing touch.

Today we’re going to look at the some of the pros and cons of the two landscaping materials to help you decide which is better for your home.


For our purposes, “mulch” is a catch-all term that refers to a gardening material that’s typically made from wood. It’s used to add visual appeal, but also to improve the health of your soil.

Benefits of mulch:
  • It’s easy to install and inexpensive, and soft and easy to walk on.
  • Mulch made from wood/tree bark adds organic matter to your soil as it breaks down.
  • Mulch retains moisture in your soil, so you’ll need to water less regularly.
  • It has a dark color that contrasts well with the green of your lawn and other plants.
  • With mulch, there’s no need for you to install an edging material or weed barrier.

Drawbacks of mulch:
  • It can attract insects.
  • Windy, rainy weather can wash it away, especially if it’s in an area that’s prone to flooding or beneath a downspout.
  • Organic mulches will eventually start to decompose, which means you’ll need to replace it every year or two.
  • It starts to lose its color after about six months due to exposure to the sun.


When you read the word “gravel” here, don’t think of the dark grey rocks you find at construction sites or in parking lots. This is a decorative stone that serves as an alternative for people who don’t want to use mulch on their landscaping projects.

Benefits of gravel:
  • You won’t need to replace it the way you do mulch, which means you’ll only need to pay to install it one time.
  • Comes in a large range of colors, sizes and shapes.
  • Larger stones can make it easier to clear leaves and plant debris from your beds.
Drawbacks of gravel:
  • When you work with gravel, you lose many of the benefits you gain with mulch. It’s harder to install and can be costlier.
  • Unlike mulch, gravel will require you to install a weed barrier and edging material to keep stones from your lawn.
  • Once gravel and the weed barrier are installed, it’s harder to replace plants.

Whether you think mulch or gravel is right for your property, Woodward Landscape Supply can help.

We offer four types of bulk mulch.

  • Hardwood mulch, a coarse mulch that clings to sloped areas.
  • Premium black mulch, made from a fine ground natural fiber, and dyed black to give a longer-lasting, more dramatic color to your landscape.
  • Root/bark mulch, which has the best moisture and color retention properties.
  • Playground mulch, a lighter-colored mulch for use in play areas, is guaranteed not to fade, splinter, or stain skin or clothing.

We also carry bagged mulch in hardwood, pine bark, large and mini pine nuggets and cedar mulch.

Our stone collection includes bulk river rock, pearl pebble and red stone in a range of sizes. We also sell those three varieties as bagged rock, as well as a number of other stones: Pocono blend, featherrock, green, antique white, and white marble, and Mexican beach black.

Contact us today to learn more about whether mulch or gravel is right for your backyard. Our team are experienced mulch suppliers helps you find the perfect solution for your landscaping project.

9 thoughts on “Mulch vs. Gravel: Which is Better for Your Landscaping?

  1. Derek Mcdoogle

    You mentioned that gravel is a decorative stone that services as an alternative for people who don’t want to use mulch on their landscaping projects. Do most gravel companies deliver the material to your home? My wife has been working nonstop on our landscape and has wanted to use some type of rocks. Finding a gravel company to provide some material could be very helpful.

  2. Joy Butler

    I never realized that the amount of benefits that mulch can provide outnumbers the benefits of gravel. Mulch has always been a hassle for up keep because we replace the mulch in our yard every spring. We had previously been considering making the switch to gravel, but I had not recognized the drawbacks of gravel until now. I have no desire to install a weed barrier so I think we will be sticking with mulch!

  3. Maggie Allen

    I really like the fact that mulch is an inexpensive option for your yard and plants. Plus, I’d probably only get the organic type of mulch for my yard since I am trying to be more friendly with the environment. What are the inorganic materials in mulch? I’d imagine it might be stuff like nitrogen.

  4. Bernard Clyde

    Depending on the size of the job you need completed, mulch is pretty practical due to it’s cost. It’s also a lot easier to haul a lot of mulch on your own for DIY projects. Gravel is a little more permanent though! If you are a “do it once” kind of person, it might be the better option.

  5. Tiffany Locke

    I didn’t know that mulch retains moisture in your soil. Not having to water your yard as much would be useful. I’ll have to look into getting some mulch for landscape use since I have to water my yard quite often.

  6. Larry Weaver

    Thanks for explaining that larger stones in gravel make it easier to clear leaves and plant debris from beds. I am wanting to redo my landscaping in the spring, and ease of dealing with clearing leaves is something I would like to have. Perhaps I’ll call gravel delivery to get supplies for landscaping my garden in the spring.

  7. Dave Anderson

    That is way nice that you won’t need to replace the rock gravel like you do the mulch. That could save some money if we didn’t have to have it installed more than once. That money we save on that could be used for something else around the house! Maybe we will have some gravel delivered and put in.


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