What is Mulch?

There is often confusion around the term mulch, and what it actually means.

Mulch is a type of landscaping material which is used as a ground covering. It usually consists of small particles of material, which are spread across the surface of the ground evenly, either for functional or aesthetic purposes. Most people think about mulch as being an “organic”, or biodegradable covering, for example wood chips, bark mulch or playground chips.

However, the term mulch does not refer exclusively to biodegradable materials. For instance, gravel, landscaping sheets, shingle and shredded rubber are also different types of mulch.

What is Mulch Used For?

In landscaping, mulch has a huge range of uses. It’s a highly versatile material, comes in many shapes and sizes and is easily installed without complicated tools or procedures.

Mulch is probably most commonly used as a bed-covering. An organic mulch, such as bark or wood chip, is spread to evenly cover the top of a flower bed or planting or around the base of trees. Organic mulches are generally more visually pleasing compared to just raw soil and can finish a landscape off nicely. However, used in this way, mulch has other benefits to the landscape such as:

  • insulation and protection against frost during cold snaps
  • a constant nourishment of the soil and roots below it as it begins to compost
  • moisture retention to protect against drought
  • helps to keep the soil cool during periods of hot weather

Other mulches, such as playground chip or rubber mulch are used in much the way you would expect, as playground area coverings. Playground mulches are soft, play-safe coverings which allow children to play on equipment safely. A mulch covering (particularly an organic, or biodegradable one) is a natural, aesthetically pleasing covering which, due to its inexpensiveness, can be kept fresh throughout the year at a relatively low upkeep cost.

Read our blog for more information on Rubber mulch.

Stone mulches, also known as non-biodegradable mulch or aggregates, such as gravel, shingle and slates, are used in several different applications. From more mundane uses such as drainage, through to more interesting uses such as for driveways, pathways and for landscaping coverings. Stone mulch is naturally very hard wearing and isn’t going to break down anytime soon.

What Kinds of Mulch are There?

At Eco, we provide a huge range of different mulching products for different needs. Here’s just a quick look at what’s available:

Wood Mulches & Barks

  • Woodland Mulch Wood chip typically used as a flower bed or tree base covering. Our woodland mulch is produced from the fallings of local tree-surgeons.
  • Amenity Bark Mulch Wood chip used as a bed covering across large-scale projects where long-lasting ground cover and protection is required whilst still being aesthetically pleasing.
  • Bark Nuggets Chips of bark, used as a high-quality high-end finish to landscapes, whilst providing a strong protection against the elements.

Playground Surfaces

  • Playground Woodchip Woodchips with the sole focus of providing safe, long lasting impact protection for children’s playgrounds.
  • Surface Bark Nuggets Bark chips that provide safety and protection on the playground, whilst having a slightly more premium look and feel.


  • Plum Slate A high-end slate aggregate used to add the finishing touch to a landscape and provide a good level of protection against the elements.
  • Primary Shingle Used as a strong and durable ground covering everywhere from driveways, through to paths as well a in construction projects.

One Final Benefit of Mulch

The last great thing about mulch we’ll mention here, is weed suppression. Since it’s covering the ground around plants and trees, it makes it a very difficult environment for weeds and unwanted plants to breakthrough and flourish.

To read more about mulch, and its uses for weed suppression, here are some blogs you may find useful: