Much Ado About Mulch: Which One Is Best For Your Garden?

One of the interesting things about winter in Queensland is that it does not rain much. During July, Brisbane receives an average of 60 mm of rain compared to 130 mm in February. As a first-time homeowner, you may not be aware that the best way to protect your plants from these dry and cold conditions is to use mulch. Mulch traps moisture around the plants to keep them from drying out. At the same time, it protects the plant base from freezing during the cold nights. Since you have never purchased mulch before, you need to know which product is best for your gardening needs. Before you head out to your local landscape supplier, consider these two pointers.


Wood chips or bark are one of the most common choices for mulch. Because of its weight, bark does not blow away when the wind picks up. Because it takes a long time to rot and fall apart, bark lasts quite a long time. You only have to add new bark twice a year. Also, bark traps moisture beneath it, so that will keep the soil damp and healthy for plant growth. The main question to ask when buying bark or wood chips is where it came from. For example, if the bark was created from chipped tree waste, then chances are it doesn't have too many pesticides or other chemicals in it. But wood chips created from old fences or other reclaimed wood may contain stain or paint residue, so it pays to know where the wood came from.

If you're not keen on a wood mulch, then another option is straw or sugar cane.

Straw Or Sugar Cane Mulch

Sugar cane mulch is not difficult to find thanks to the abundance of sugar cane fields in Queensland. The negative of using sugar cane or straw for your mulch is that it decomposes much more quickly than bark. However, while it is breaking down, it is adding healthy nutrients to the soil, and that makes your plants grow stronger. You can purchase straw and sugar cane mulch in bales from a landscape supplier. You will need to top up this mulch every three to six months depending on breakdown and wind erosion.

There are other mulch options, which include stones and compost. Make sure you're considering different landscaping supplies to find out what works best in your location. A landscape supplier will have all the advice you need and can even often arrange delivery if you need a big mulch load delivered.