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Old 05-08-2007, 07:35 AM   #1
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Rock Vs. Mulch


I am looking to plant some Dwarf English Boxwoods as a hedge in my front yard and I have found some readings that state mulch to be used around the plant to retain moisture and stop some of the heat from the sun. Then later I read that the plant soil must be well drained!

I really want to plant in a rock bed, whats the difference in rocks and mulch from a plant point of view?

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Old 05-08-2007, 11:28 AM   #2
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Rock Vs. Mulch


Mulch drains fine and helps keep soil below moist. Rock or gravel mulch looks good, drains well and does not break down like wood mulch. Downside is that it retains heat and radiates it back to the surrounding plants. It can get hot to the touch! Things like petunias will wither and die quickly. Large established plantings will be be OK.

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Old 05-08-2007, 11:38 AM   #3
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Rock Vs. Mulch


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Mulch drains fine and helps keep soil below moist. Rock or gravel mulch looks good, drains well and does not break down like wood mulch. Downside is that it retains heat and radiates it back to the surrounding plants. It can get hot to the touch! Things like petunias will wither and die quickly. Large established plantings will be be OK.
Thanks!

Is there anything I could lay down before the rock that would help with heat radiating back to the plant? I will be installing fabric first but its black so that really wont help.
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:44 AM   #4
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Rock Vs. Mulch


Nothing I can think of. White will be less hot than say brown or red.
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:53 AM   #5
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Nothing I can think of. White will be less hot than say brown or red.
Oh well, the rock is dark blue/pink granite.
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:03 PM   #6
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Rock Vs. Mulch


I'm no expert but have used colored stone for mulch over fabric and have experienced pansies and such wilting away from the heat. We also had some pear trees and other large shrubs that did fine. Your boxwood may be fine. Keep em watered until they are established and you may be fine.
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Old 05-08-2007, 01:25 PM   #7
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Rock Vs. Mulch


I'd keep it simple and stick with mulch. Mulch is cheaper and gives you more ground coverage. Plus, it's much lighter. A bag of rocks can be 50#. I use mulch and rock for my landscaping, but only use the rocks under my HVAC system. That way, I can spray weeds and not worry about having to replenish this area since mulch can easily deteriorate and/or blow away.
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Old 05-08-2007, 01:45 PM   #8
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I'd keep it simple and stick with mulch. Mulch is cheaper and gives you more ground coverage. Plus, it's much lighter. A bag of rocks can be 50#. I use mulch and rock for my landscaping, but only use the rocks under my HVAC system. That way, I can spray weeds and not worry about having to replenish this area since mulch can easily deteriorate and/or blow away.
I already have 13 yards of it sitting in the driveway, mostly used for other applications. I like the look of the rock and want to use it in the bed so it is for the most part maintenace free, not having to replace mulch every year or two.

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