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ahappycamper

Does rock mulch hurt or help soil in anyway?

ahappy camper zone10
3 years ago
last modified: 3 years ago

I know organic matter mulches are best because they continue to break down and amend the soil, retain moisture so it is a no brainer to use it over rock mulches if health of soil is the main concern
.However, if someone insists in using rock, can you expect this to harm or help the soil in anyway relative to if they had just left the ground bare with nothing over it(since organic mulch is clearly superior)? Can it be assumed that rock mulch is better than no mulch at all?
Surely rock mulch provides some moisture retention though again, clearly not as much as organic matter mulch
What about how it hurts the soil? Rock can be heavy, and i wonder how this affects the soil. Over time, is the soil being compacted and suffocated with less air exchange capability because of the weight of the rock especially when its applied in layers the way it is by many landscapers?
I really like the look of rock. I would like go mulch with organic matter but then add some rock on top for some aesthetic reasons but not if the rock takes away from the health of the soil even a little bit

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