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Mulch V Bark Nuggets

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by samuri shovel, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. samuri shovel

    samuri shovel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Hey can anyone help me settle an arguement? I've always believed mulch was fine for keeping the moisture in the soil but a friend of mine, (with 15 years experience in the landscaping) insists that bark nuggets are better because mulch actually absorbs moisture from the topsoil whereas the bark nuggets do not. Any opinions?

    SPENCER HUNTER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    i think mulch is better cause it holds moisture,,, less watering is needed,,, i think nugget's are a waste of time,,they do nothing for the soil other than look good,,, i know there is less maintence when u use mulch you have less weeds,, i usally have over 2 inches in deepth in all of my flower bed's almost no maintence i required,, when i get i usally buy it in bulk by the pickup-load my truck can haul a little over 4 yds worth in 1 trip,, saving time and $$$$
  3. samuri shovel

    samuri shovel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks, I agree. I'm sticking with mulch until someone gives me a good reason to switch.
  4. SW Landscape Maintenance

    SW Landscape Maintenance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    nugget's always end up on the lawn. not sure why but they do. :canadaflag:
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Nuggets are mulch unless you till them in, at which point it becomes an amendment.

    Perhaps your trying to compare Bark to Compost?


    Pros: Longer lifespan, more visually appealing, better resistance to wind displacement.

    Cons: High C:N, lower weed blocking and soil moisture retention compared to compost.


    Pros: Low C:N, better weed blocking and soil moisture retention compared to bark.

    Cons: Less resistant to wind displacement, short lifespan, less visually appealing.

    C:N ratio is important to consider because any mulch that has a C:N ratio higher than 25:1 can lead to a net reduction in available nitrogen in the short term.

    The lower the C:N ratio, the quicker it will decompose and add organic matter to the soil.

    Most bark I would expect to see C:N ration higher than 100:1.
    A high grade compost will typically be around 20:1 or lower.

    So it really depends on what your looking to gain from your mulch. In some cases bark is better, in others compost, and in others a completely different type of mulch may be needed.
  6. michael13

    michael13 LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 28

    Mulch is much more pleasing to the eye for most. Watch out for Artillery fungus in mulch though, especially near light colored houses. The host of the fungus is dead decaying matter. More of this in mulch and compost than nuggets.

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