Let's not pretend that we don't like mulch season. Okay, I won't make this a WE thing, I will keep it an "I" thing.

I LOVE when it is time to mulch in the spring. You spruce up your entire property with some fresh mulch. The smell is great (to some). And for a pretty cheap product, it really enhances your whole yard.

Every year, I get a yard or two of black (midnight) mulch, and think to myself, "Should I get wood chips? What about red?"

Then I think, "Who the heck gets red? It is hideous...". Sorry to the people with red mulch. That's just my hot take.

Well, this year, I decided to look it up before continuing with the black. Why is there different color mulch, and does it do anything other than look different?

Yes, it does. Different mulch colors do different things and have various pros and cons.


As you probably know, black attracts sunlight. So black mulch is great for retaining heat, absorbing moisture, etc. This mulch is great for shady or cool areas. The black also helps prevent sunlight from reaching the weeds below. So you will see less grass and weed growth in your black mulch.

The negatives are that ants really love black mulch. Most black mulch is pine, another thing that attracts ants.

Getty Images
Getty Images


Although I think this mulch is hideous, it is really popular. Why? The red serves a purpose. Many pests such as ants and whiteflies do not like the color and scent of the red mulch, according to a Cherry Hill article.

So although it is less appealing, there is great benefit to some.

Wood chips:

Wood chips look great. I cannot argue with that. If you go to a playground, you often see wood chips, not mulch. But why don't people use wood chips for mulch as regularly as red or black? They harm your plants.

Most people use mulch in/around their gardening beds. Wood chips use up a lot of the nitrogen the plants need to grow.

Regardless of what you choose, mulch season is so here. Most people replace it/freshen it up every year or two, so choose the mulch you like best, whether that is for practical reasons or aesthetic ones.

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