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Home » Information » Is It Better to Put Mulch or Rocks Around a House?

Is It Better to Put Mulch or Rocks Around a House?

Is It Better to Put Mulch or Rocks Around a House?

Adding landscaping material around the base of your house offers many benefits. In addition to enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your property, it also helps to improve the soil, and acts as a weed barrier; those are a few of the advantages. Wood mulch and rock are two of the most popular landscaping materials, and both offer advantages and disadvantages. Some homeowners find the natural look that wood mulch offers more appealing, while others are more drawn to the definition and longevity that rocks provide. When it comes down to it, trying to decide between rocks vs mulch around your house really depends on your own personal preference. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both options.

Is It Better to Put Mulch or Rocks Around a House?

Not sure which one to use, mulch or rocks around your house? If you’re debating between the two, considering the pros and cons of each material will help you decide which option will work best for you and your home.

Pros and Cons of Using Rocks Around the Base of Your House

Landscaping rock comes in a myriad of colors, shapes, sizes, and materials. From small white pebbles to bulky red lava rock, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. No matter the type of landscaping rock you choose, there are a few pros and cons to consider. Take a look:


  • Minimal maintenance: Rock requires very minimal maintenance. Unlike mulch, rock doesn’t decay and will last for years.
  • Fewer pests: Because mulch is made of wood, it tends to attract pets, some of which can wreak havoc on your house; termites, for example. Conversely, with rocks, there’s no need to worry about pests, because it doesn’t attract bugs or insects.
  • Erosion prevention: If you’re concerned about erosion, river rock is a great choice, as it prevents soil from moving. In fact, it can stay in place on even steep slopes and hills with no problem.
  • Cost-effective: Because of its longevity, there’s no upkeep, which means rocks are more cost-effective than mulch.


  • Won’t enhance soil: Rock won’t improve the health of your soil and thus, it won’t improve the health of your plants.
  • Weeds and debris: Weeds, leaves, seeds, and other debris can easily grow or settle in the gaps between landscaping rocks.
  • Tedious: Rock is heavy, so installing or removing it can be a tedious task.

Pros and Cons of Using Mulch Around the Base of Your House

Mulch is an organic material, meaning it is biodegradable and can improve the health of your soil – and your plants. There are several styles, colors, sizes, and materials available, too, from pine to cedar. Despite the benefits, there are some downsides, too. Let’s look closer.


  • Moisture retention: Mulch does a great job of retaining moisture in the soil and minimizes surface evaporation, which means less time spent watering your flower beds.
  • Enhanced soil health: As the organic mulch decomposes, it adds nutrients to the soil, and those nutrients will feed your plants.
  • Fewer weeds: Mulch is more flexible, so to speak, so it will cover more of the soil and reduce/control weed growth.
  • Insulator: Mulch has insulating qualities, so it will keep your plants cool in the summer and warm in the winter, ensuring they remain healthy all year long.
  • Easy to work with: Because it’s a lot lighter than rock, mulch is a lot easier to work with.


  • Lots of upkeep: While mulch’s decay is good for soil and plants, it does need to be replaced on a constant basis – meaning it requires a lot of maintenance.
  • Not budget-friendly: The constant upkeep that mulch requires can really hurt your pocketbook over the long run.
  • Attracts pests: Mulch is organic, so it attracts pests, such as termites and carpenter ants, and those pests can make their way into your house.

Which Should You Choose? Mulch or Rock?

Whether you choose to landscape with mulch or rock really depends on your personal preference and needs. When trying to decide between mulch or rocks, consider the pros and cons highlighted above to make the best decision for the landscaping around your home.

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