What Is The Best Black Mulch

What Is The Best Black Mulch? + [What To COnsider]

Having black mulch in your landscape isn’t only an excellent investment but also a time saver. Still, it’s an affordable way to nourish your garden or flower bed. 

The black mulch enhances the exterior of your home by creating a contrast that makes your flowers outstanding.  

Despite the different varieties of mulch in the market, I agree that using black mulch properly has several benefits. Apart from being decorative, it controls and prevents the growth of weeds. It slows down evaporation, enriches the soil, and reduces infestation of diseases and insects. 

Note that all the black mulch in the market are not equally made and are available in varying styles and types. So, it’s essential to know what is the best black mulch that fits your budget and needs. Read on, and find out!

What is the best black mulch?

Weigh the black mulch options below since there is always a better mulch than the other.  From the research, get the best black mulch depending on your purpose. Let’s take a look!

  1. Playsafer Rubber Mulch Nuggets

These rubber mulch nuggets are inorganic and made from recycled passenger tires. However, they are widely used in playgrounds to provide safety and beautify outdoor landscaping and shrubs. They have an unmatched capacity to absorb shock, thus reducing injuries.

In addition, the playsafer rubber nuggets are best for moisture control and weed prevention. And for best weed control results, layer the chunks over a plastic sheeting or weed barrier fabric to prevent weeds from growing.

Be ready to invest in rubber mulch nuggets. Why? They are expensive but, on the other hand, long-lasting, do not fade, and are maintenance-free. They come in 40 lb bags equal to 1.55 cubic feet of mulch. 

What I like

  • Long-lasting: It can withstand harsh weather conditions like wind, storms, snow, and others; this makes it so durable. It can stay for long without replacement.
  • Minimal maintenance: You don’t need to tend to it regularly when adequately installed as it doesn’t compress or decompose.
  • Safe to use: Through different tests, Playsafer rubber mulch has proved to be safe for use by children in the playground and the garden. It’s 99.9% metal free, non-toxic, and has no health hazard to plants, pets, and people.
  • Waterproof: Rubber mulch is an inorganic mulch; therefore, non-absorbent. It allows the soil to collect more water which is good for plants’ wellness and growth. 

Additionally, they dry so fast in case of a downpour, and they don’t freeze even in cold weather, making them fit for playgrounds in all seasons.

  • Control growth of weeds: The rubber weed barrier blocks the sunlight that weeds need to grow. It suppresses their development; this saves you time and energy to uproot or spray these weeds.
  • Protect plants from pests: Unlike other organic mulches, rubber mulch doesn’t attract termites and other bugs. Therefore, it protects against the destruction of plants by pests.
  • Cost-effective: From the above benefits, we can say that rubber mulch nuggets are a good value for your money.

What I Don’t Like

  • Costly: Playsafer rubber mulch nuggets are initially more expensive but cost-effective in the long run as they don’t require placement.
  • No nutrients: Rubber mulch being inorganic, does not add nutrients to the soil.
  1. Plow & Hearth 55632 Recycled Rubber

The Plow and Hearth recycled rubber resembles the traditional wood mulch only that it doesn’t scatter. It’s a great aesthetic as it improves the beauty of your garden or yard. Installation is simple; you need to roll it out and then cut it to fit the desired area. You can easily fit it around the base of trees, narrow pathways, and shaped beds.

The permanent mulch is safe and eliminates weeding and re-mulching. 

Furthermore, it’s more lightweight and long-lasting than others in the market. And since it has no back-breaking work, it doesn’t scatter but stays put. 

What I Like

  • Low maintenance: While other organic mulches need replacement every year, this Plow and Hearth recycled rubber is a one-time expense.
  • Easy to use: It’s simple and easy to install. You roll it out on the flower bed border or where you need mulch protection. 
  • Lasts long: It has enhanced durability and longevity and can stand extreme weather conditions without fading.
  • Neat and tidy: This shredded rubber mulch stays put without scattering under any condition. As a result, it remains clean and looks very natural for a long time without maintenance. 
  • Inhibit weed growth: The rubber mat effectively prevents the growth of weeds while allowing the free flow of water and air into the soil.

What I Don’t like

  • Costly: It’s expensive to purchase, although it’s worth the price.
  • Lightweight: In instances where you need to use it as a real border, it might shift due to its lightweight.
  1. Longleaf Pine Straw

The Longleaf Pine Straw is a valuable mulch. It offers many benefits and is used widely in residential gardens, flower beds, industrial areas, and highway landscapes.

Pine straw is an organic mulch, which improves the soil’s nutrient value as it decomposes. Furthermore, it retains soil moisture, suppresses weed growth, and helps regulate soil temperature. 

Pine straw is also easy to use, renewable and sustainable. 

Since it’s composed of 100% chopped, natural dyed pine straw mulch, it lasts 2- 4 times longer than natural mulch. The color also blends so well with the environment.

What I Like

  • Appearance: The black-colored Longleaf pine straw matches so well with the environment by adding a unique color that makes the landscape attractive.
  • Durability: Compared to other organic mulches, it takes longer to break down due to its resin content. The color acts as a sunscreen protecting the straws from sunlight, making them last longer.
  • Add nutrients to the soil: As pine straw decomposes, it releases nutrients into the ground, such as nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. They are suitable for the healthy development of plants.
  • Maintain soil moisture: A thick layer of thick straw maintains the soil moisture levels. It also allows the soil to breathe, thus preventing it from being dense and compact. 
  • Light and allows water flow: Pine straw mulch is very light and easy to spread. It also lets water through it very well to your plants.

What I Don’t Like

  • Poor weed barrier: Since the mulch is thin and light, the weeds can push through unless you pile more and more of it.
  • Blown by wind: The pine straws are carried easily by strong winds due to their lightweight nature.
  1. HOOPLE Garden Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric

HOOPLE landscape fabric is an inorganic mulch. It’s a high-quality non-woven fabric used over rocks, gravel, or potted plants as an economical and sustainable way to suppress weeds. Still, suitable for aesthetic purposes.

The landscape fabric effectively controls weeds, saving you time to uproot or dig out.

Its perforated holes allow water to flow through. Recommended for use around trees and shrubs. You can top it with decorative mulch to hold it in place, making it last for years.

What I Like

  • High quality and ultra-thick: Has a superior non-woven material that is ultra-thick. Hence, you can use it on driveways or walkways as it can sustain a heavyweight.
  • Permeable: The heavy-duty HOOPLE landscape fabric allows air and water through it, keeping the soil nourished while keeping weeds away.
  • Easy to install: It’s easy to roll it out without any technical issues and start planting. 
  • Prevents growth of weeds: It blocks the sprouting weeds from light and air, which is necessary to support growth, so the weeds eventually die.
  • Retains moisture: Using fabric over the soil protects the soil from drying by preventing evaporation.
  • Prevents soil erosion: The non-woven material prevents running water from washing down the topsoil, causing corrosion.

What I Don’t Like

  • Fading: The color tends to fade after some time.
  • A barrier to natural organic mulch: The fabric is a barrier to organic mulch, like fallen leaves that may add nutrients to the soil as they decompose.
  1. Goasis Lawn Weed Barrier Control Fabric Ground Cover Membrane

The Goasis Lawn Weed Barrier is a durable woven fabric made of polypropylene. It offers an effective solution to keep weeds away from your lawn. It’s permeable and allows easy flow of water and air into the soil. 

The heavy-duty fabric cover has green stripes that are one foot apart to help align plants appropriately. 

The lightweight fabric comes in different sizes and is durable. You can use it on pathways and driveways, for its breaking strength is on another level. Another great thing about the Goasis weed barrier is that its UV resistant and corrosion resistant, thus staying for a long time.

What I Like

  • Easy to install: The Goasis weed barrier fabric is lightweight, and you can easily carry it around as you cut. The stripes also allow you to align your plants properly.
  • UV Resistant: Has material that is resistant to ultraviolet rays and corrosive resistance. Therefore extended exposure to sunlight cannot destroy it.
  • Permeable: The fabric allows free flow of air and water, and through this, the moisture is conserved, and the soil stays nourished. 
  • Last Long: The mulching fabric is very sturdy and heavy-duty with high breaking strength. The UV and corrosive resistance also makes it more durable. 

What I Don’t Like

  • The thickness: With its moderate thickness, it’s not as reliable as others like HOOPLE, which are thick. 
  1. Plastic Sheeting Roll 6 MIL (10×100) Black for Painting

You don’t need herbicides to control weeds in your garden anymore; the plastic sheeting roll sorts you out. It primarily eliminates the growth of weeds.

The plastic mulch is impermeable and protects the exchange of air, nutrients, and water from the surrounding. It also blocks sunlight, and through all this, the weeds cannot survive. 

Again, it retains the soil moisture and warms the soil up. Warming may affect your plants in warm areas by causing the roots to rot, so use it with caution.

Note that this type of mulching is only suitable for a short period.

What I Like

  • Impermeable: The plastic sheeting mulch is impervious, thus problematic for the weeds’ roots to pass through. Also, the weeds become suppressed and eventually wither when they lack air, water, and sunlight. 
  • Warm the soil: Covering the ground with black plastic makes it warm and reduces evaporation. Warming is suitable for early planting and helps produce greater crop yields for vegetables and small plants. 
  • Durable: Although you shouldn’t use plastic mulch for an extended period in your garden, it’s stable. Furthermore, it’s UV resistant and can withstand long periods of sunlight without breaking down.
  • Controls soil moisture: It prevents water evaporation, ensuring enough moisture for growing plants. It also contains excess water that may drown your plants.
  • Neat and reduce pests and diseases: Overall, the black plastic sheeting on your garden looks neat and clean. With reduced contact of plant leaves with the soil, there is no spread of diseases and pests. Therefore, plants remain healthy.

What I Don’t Like

  • Expensive: Compared to other mulches, plastic sheeting is costly as it involves additional resources like drips.
  • Time-consuming: Removing it requires a lot of effort and time to pull; it can be heavy with debris and keeps tearing. 
  • Disposal: The black plastic doesn’t fully decompose, and at the same time, recycling is not easy; thus, removal can be problematic.
  1. ECOgardener Premium 5oz Pro Garden Weed Barrier

The chemical-free ECOgardener Premium Weed Barrier stops weed growth while allowing air and water to pass through. 

Efficiency and productivity are enhanced through weed control and letting air and water flow.

The premium garden weed barrier is effective in the garden and landscaping. It’s a heavy-duty fabric, lightweight, and doesn’t shed under any weather condition. 

What I Like

  • Easy installation: Since the ECOgardener weed barrier is lightweight, it’s simple to roll out, cut, and fix it on your desired area.
  • Permeable: Designed to let water and air into the soil, conserving soil moisture for healthy growth.
  • Durable: The weed barrier lasts for an extended period; it’s sturdy and heavy-duty. It remains intact, without shedding even in areas with extreme weather conditions.
  • Refund guarantee: It comes with a 30-day full refund guarantee, thus giving you a sense of security in case of a substandard weed mulch barrier.

What I Don’t Like

  • Water flow: It does not let more water flow through.

Factors to Consider When Buying Black Mulch

It’s clear from the above-detailed outline that black mulch is available in various styles, sizes, and types. What factors should you consider before settling for the best black mulch for your lawn, therefore?

  1. Intended Use

The primary thing to consider is the intended use of the black mulch. All the black mulch discussed above can suppress weeds and control moisture. 

Your choice depends on your usage. 

For decorative purposes, rubber mulches are best. While for gardening, you can use others, including fabric and plastic mulch.

  1. Durability

Purchase the mulch that lasts you long before replacing it. In the case of fabric mulch, you can put a layer of other decorative mulch to make it stay longer. 

  1. Location

Make sure you choose the best black mulch depending on the weather around your area as it affects its longevity. Buy UV-resistant mulch if your region has much sunlight. The same goes for moisture retention. In the wet part, avoid plastic weed barriers as it causes the plants to rot.

  1. Ease of Installation

Select a black mulch that is effortless to install. All the above mulches have easy installation and will save you time.

  1. Composition

Focus on the type; the black organic mulch decomposes with time, releasing nutrients into the soil. On the other hand, the inorganic doesn’t decompose but, it’s durable. 

You can choose the one that suits your needs from the various options.

FAQs

a. What Type of Black Mulch is Best? 

My best black mulch is the Longleaf Pine Straw because it’s organic and its low breakdown speed is a plus since it stays long before replacing it. Besides, it’s readily available and affordable, too. 

But the fact that, as it decomposes, it releases nutrients into the soil, making it even healthier, assures me of my great choice.

Black mulch is of good quality. Nevertheless, the best depends on your preferences. My choice for aesthetics is Plow and Hearth rubber mulch for its thick, porous, and durable mulch.

b. Does Color Mulch Fade?

Yes, but the extent to which your mulch fades depends on maintenance, rain, sunlight exposure, and general weathering. 

However, it’s important to note that dyed mulch takes much longer to fade, actually a year or longer than naturally colored mulch. 

You need to maintain the color by adding a fresh layer over the existing one from time to time. Even so, examine the existing color mulch before adding more.

c. What is the Darkest Mulch?

The Goasis Lawn Weed Barrier is the darkest mulch; it creates a great contrast in your garden and appeals to the eyes. It’s a long-lasting mulch that suppresses weeds, and it doesn’t quickly fade. Since its UV resistance, it maintains its black color for so long. 

It’s safe, non-toxic, and gives your landscape a pop of color. 

The color adds nothing to the soil apart from the aesthetic value. The Goasis weed barrier retains the soil moisture while protecting the weeds from germinating.

d. Does Mulching Grass Using Black Mulch Increase its Growth Rate? 

No guarantee that using black mulch increases the grass growth rate. However, it’s beneficial to the soil on the beds as it adds up nutrients after decomposing. 

It suppresses the growth of weeds, retains the soil moisture, and reduces soil erosion during heavy rains. All this, in return, enhances the development of healthy grass. 

Also, it retains moisture during summer and maintains cooler temperatures that keep the grass vibrant.

Mulching the grass beds also saves you time as maintenance is low.

Parting Point

Adding black mulch to your garden, base of plants, or on your children’s playground is an attractive and beneficial touch-up. But, what is the best black mulch? 

Note that all the above reviewed black mulches are safe, help suppress weeds’ growth, and help to retain the soil moisture. However, your preference and where you need to use it determines your choice. 

For instance, if you need something that adds nutrients to your flower garden, go for the Longleaf pine straw mulch and not the rubber nuggets. Finally, ensure you buy the type that fits your purpose and suits your budget.

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