Buying Guide

Best Mulch for Your Yard

Colored Mulch
shredded hardwood

Color-enhanced wood mulch includes brown mulch, black mulch, red mulch and hardwood mulch. Colorful mulches will give your flower beds and landscape a decorative pop.

  • Color enhanced and double-shredded for consistency.
  • All dyes used are pet-safe, non-toxic, environmentally friendly and biodegradable.
  • Designed to break down slowly over a year's time or more.
  • Great for flower beds, vegetable gardens and general landscape use.
  • Color is guaranteed to last all season long.
Mini Pine Nuggets Bark Mulch
Pine mini-nuggets

Mini pine bark mulch gives your garden a neat, natural look. It breaks down more slowly than shredded mulch, so it won't need to be replenished as often. 

  • Great landscaping option for walk paths, driveways, gardens and around the trunks of trees.
  • Chunkier pieces are sized to approximately one inch to give your landscaping an unique look, adding curb appeal to your home.
  • Designed to break down slowly over a year's time or more.

Topsoil is more than just dirt. It's nutrient-rich, healthy soil that enhances the growth of plants in your landscape and garden. 

  • Contains a heavy base of composted materials.
  • Use for filling holes, leveling low areas and patching bare spots on lawns.
  • Can also be used to build up landscapes and garden beds.
Kids Karpet Playground Mulch
Kids Karpet playground mulch

Playground mulch is engineered wood fiber that's ideal for pathways, backyards and underneath play sets or swings. 

  • 100 percent natural and produced from engineered wood fiber.
  • Ideal for playgrounds, pathways and backyards.
  • Recommended that it be installed to a finished depth of 12 inches for playground applications.
  • Allow an extra four inches of mulch layer for compaction, as this product will compact 33 percent after it is first installed.

Meets the ASTM standard for having the proper safety precautions when used as recommended by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for playground surfaces.

Rubber Mulch
A garden bed with rubber mulch.
  • More permanent than wood mulch but does not improve the soil structure.
  • Great for playgrounds and walking trails; provides soil protection and bounce.
Pine Needles
Garden beds mulched with pine needles.
  • Pine needles increase soil acidity, making them ideal for use around acid-loving plants.  
  • Pine straw and wheat straw help control soil erosion on slopes. Remember that hay and straw mulch may harbor weed seeds.
Mulch Alternatives
A pile of grass clippings with a person mowing the background.

Plastic, landscape fabric, grass clippings, manure and newspaper can all be used as mulch alternatives. 

Black Polyethylene Plastic  

  • Effective at preventing weed growth, though it tends to hold water in the soil. 
  • Some black plastic is sold with tiny holes to facilitate drainage.
  • Exposed to sun, black plastic can degrade and lose its effectiveness, which is why some gardeners bury it in the soil. 
  • Acts as a good underlayment for organic or rock mulch.  

Landscape Fabric  

  • Specially treated to resist rotting. 
  • Unlike plastic, landscape fabric is porous and allows water, air and nutrients to pass through. Weeds sometimes poke through, but overall, fabric is effective at weed control. 
  • Better weed control can be achieved by adding more mulch on top of the fabric. 
  • Many gardeners add decorative wood or stone mulch on top of fabric to enhance its appearance. 
  • Works best for shrubs and non-spreading plants. 

Grass Clippings  

  • Excellent way to repurpose yard waste after mowing the lawn. 
  • Only available throughout the summer months. 
  • Add the clippings to your garden soil to help boost nutrients.  


  • Nutrient-filled natural by-product of cows, horses, goats and other farm animals. 
  • Be sure the manure is well-rotted before applying in gardens.  


  • Can be used under mulch. 
  • The newspaper shouldn’t touch the stem to allow room for the plant to grow. 
  • Do not use colored pages as the ink may harm the soil and plants.

If you need mulch to spread in your garden, around trees and shrubs or along pathways, buying mulch in bulk is the way to go. Bulk mulch will save you money and suppress weed growth, giving you more time to relax. Shop The Home Depot for the latest color-enhanced mulch, garden mulch or any other type of mulch you need to give your yard a fresh look.