Several mulch types are available, and you may be wondering which one is best for your garden. These include wood chips, shredded hardwood, rubber mulch, and grass clippings. However, choosing the right mulch for your particular location and intended use is important. Listed below are some tips for selecting the best mulch.

Wood chips

Many kinds of mulch exist, but wood chips are the best mulch in Cincinnati for growing areas. Stone chippings are the best mulch for barren, dry areas. These materials are heavier and will not wash away during inclement weather. Also, wood chips are organic and burn at a low temperature, making them fire-resistant.

Shredded hardwood

Choose one made from shredded hardwood bark if you want the best mulch for your lawn. This mulch is composed of 100% tree bark, which provides more nutrients to your plants and soil than other types. It also works well in retaining moisture and preventing weeds. It is especially helpful for areas with slopes or those susceptible to erosion.

Rubber mulch

Rubber mulch is an environmentally friendly way to mulch your garden, but this material has a few drawbacks. Rubber mulch contains heavy metals and other chemicals and can leach into your groundwater. It can also release these chemicals into the air and may be dangerous to your health. Therefore, it is not recommended for use on edible plants or gardens. It also has little nutritional value. Rubber mulch is best used as a covering on top of your soil and helps keep the soil moist. This keeps plants from drying out and prevents overheating. It also reduces evaporation, which is important for the growth of plants. Most importantly, it doesn’t consume nitrogen, which is required for plant growth.

Grass clippings

Grass clippings are a great addition to a compost pile. They provide a rich source of nitrogen for your soil. You can even use them as mulch for your garden. These clippings are often collected in lawnmower bags that can be taken to the municipal compost facility. Alternatively, you can compost them at home using your compost pile. When composting, use grass clippings with caution, as they can contain chemical pesticides.

Colored organic mulches

Colored organic mulches are not a new concept. But their use has been limited. Some people do not like the idea of using colored mulch, while others tolerate it and enjoy its vibrancy. Colored mulch may also contain harmful chemicals that can harm your plants.


Hay mulch is a natural soil conditioner that can help keep weeds and grass down. It packs down and can act as a sponge to prevent erosion during heavy rains. The material also traps water and prevents the leaching of nutrients. It also suppresses weeds from beneath. However, hay leaves may become brown in the sun and may not be as attractive as other mulches.


While there are many uses for straw, it’s particularly beneficial to gardens as it attracts earthworms, which are beneficial to the garden. Worms live in soil, and when the quality of that soil is improved, the worms will thrive. These worms also leave behind castings, which provide vital nutrients for plants.

Cocoa bean hulls

Cocoa bean hulls are excellent mulch for your garden, but they can be poisonous to your pets. Cocoa hulls contain a natural chemical called theobromine, which is toxic to cats and dogs. If your pet accidentally ingests a cocoa bean hull, you’ll want to contact a veterinarian immediately. Fortunately, there have been very few pet deaths due to cocoa mulch. It is best to purchase mulch that has been treated to remove theobromine from the mix.