On average, most people re-mulch their landscape once a year. This may have to be done more or less frequently depending on weather conditions, foot traffic, raking, irrigation, and other variables.
This replenishment is necessary because just like any other plant part that is removed from its host, mulch decomposes.
There is an alternative to this annual chore of re-mulching, one that seems to be gaining popularity these past few years as the price of mulch has gone up. That alternative would be re-mulching with stone or shell.
There are many types to choose from, with the most popular being washed, crushed shell which is composed of partial and whole sea shell parts mined from underground veins found throughout Florida. Not only does this shell give your garden a coastal look, it is also easy to walk on. Gardeners use it for driveways, walkways, and even ground cover in landscapes.
Another alternative to mulch is Red Crimson Rock, also known as Cedar Bark Chip. This stone comes from old abandoned coal mines in Alabama. According to legend, underground fires that started after the mines were shut down and sealed caused the clay and coal to melt together and then harden; these events created the stone that we now call Red Crimson Rock. Once installed in the landscape, this stone resembles Pine Bark mulch, hence its other alias Cedar Bark Chip.
Many landscapers and gardeners go with the tried and true River Rock, which typically comes in white or brown. It is safe to say this rock has the best curb appeal due to its smooth finish, vibrant colors, and consistency in shape. It is also available in various sizes and color combinations. This rock/groundcover will certainly raise the value of any home.
Regardless of what decorative rock you choose, once you choose to use it as a replacement over your mulch, you will see financial benefits in no time.