Wood Chips vs Mulch – Which is Better for Your Garden?

Mulch and wood chips are materials related to gardening and landscaping. These are organic and inorganic materials that are used in the cultivation of plant species. Moreover, these are also used for the nourishment and defense of garden specimens between other things. Although these both terms are overlapped due to their application and definition stated. But these are two different things in the world of landscaping and gardening


Typically, mulch states to the material employed on the surface of the soil all over the plants in the garden. Although, placing the mulch around your plants provides various benefits. 

The benefits to placing mulch are listed below:

  • These are used to reduce water evaporation 
  • Placed to prevent soil compaction 
  • Mulch is used to stabilize soil moisture 
  • Fewer chances of erosion 
  • These help in controlling weed populations
  • Plays a vital role in moderating soil temperature 

Types of Mulch

Here we are going to discuss two types of mulches that are common to use.

Organic Mulches 

Organic types of mulch contain the following in it:

  • Hay
  • Leaf Mold
  • Pine Bark
  • Shredded Hardwood Material 
  • Grass Clippings 
  • Compost
  • Straw
  • Wood Chips
  • Leaves 
  • Pecan Shells 
  • Pine Needles 
  • Coffee Grounds 

Inorganic Mulches

Inorganic types mulches contain the following in it:

  • Woven Ground Cloth
  • Gravel
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Crushed Stone 
  • Artificial Pine Needles 
  • Pebbles 
  • Rubber 

Mulch Works As A Garden Helper 

Some mulches are too good for the soil in your garden as it decomposes. Moreover, those mulches also minimize the workload needed to maintain the planting area. On the other hand, some types of mulches are nice-looking but negatively impact your soil in the garden. That’s why you should choose sensibly while buying the mulches for your garden. Because an appropriate gardener’s mulch will enhance the soil quality. Moreover, good mulches also inhibit weeds and bound evaporation as well. 

No matter whether you are going to use wood chips or bark mulch, both can prevent weeds’ growth. 

There are various benefits of using these both; some of them are listed below:

  • These Encourage The Soil To Preserve Moisture
  • A Way To Improve Soil Quality
  • These Also Minimize The Chances Of Soil Erosion

Generally, wood chips are dryer in nature and larger. This is why they are less appropriate for vegetables and flowers.

Reasons For Choosing Wood Chips For Mulching

Here we are going to discuss the benefits of wood chips. 

  • You Have A Ready Supply Of Wood Chips

One of the benefits is that wood chips are more economical than the other types of mulch. Moreover, these are easy to source. If you are going to chip some trees or someone in your circle has too many wood chips, then it would be a budget-friendly way to mulch. 

  • Gives You A Clean Look And Feel  

If we compare wood chips to other types of mulch, then we’ll see that these are clean and dryer than other types of mulch. These are useful in the landscaping areas, where you and your children use to go regularly. This could be around a tree, just like in the middle of a lawn. 

  • Give Longevity To Your Lawn

Wood chips take a longer time than bark mulch when you break down them. That’s why there is no more need to replace them often more.  Besides, you can consider inorganic mulch in such a situation.

  • There Is No Need To Be Worried About The Addition Of Nutrients 

As we mentioned above wood chips take longer to break down, that’s why they take longer to add nutrients into the soil. 

  • You Are Aware Of The Source 

Sometimes chips are manufactured from wood products. Such as wood and fencing utilized for other purposes. You can treat this wood with creosote, vanish, paint, and other chemicals as well into your soil. 

Top Reasons For Picking Bark Mulch As a substitute Of Chips 

Let’s shed a light on the reasons: “when should you choose bark mulch?”

  • When You Want To Add Nutrients To The Soil:

Bark mulch is easier and quicker to break down. That’s why they add organic mass and nutrients to the soil easily and swiftly as compared to chips. Moreover, this is beneficial for various plant species. 

  • You Have To Concern With The Nitrogen Level

When you decompose chips and bark mulch, both leach nitrogen from the soil. Whereas, bark mulch pulls out less as compared to the chips. That’s why you have to add more nitrogen. 

Which is the Best Sort of Mulch for your Garden? Wood Chips vs. Mulch 

As we have discussed above, both mulches contain pros and cons as well. That’s why both provide ground cover and limit weed growth. 

But I will prefer to use bark mulch. The reason is its swift breakdown and addition of organic mass and nutrients in it. 

On the other hand, if your objective is to get the mulch that often doesn’t need to replace. Then inorganic mulch will be the best choice for your garden. 

Usually, wood chips are mostly the top choice in most situations. Moreover, if you need a budget-friendly situation, then this will be perfect. 


Are Wood Chips Cheaper Than Mulch?

Both the wood chips and bark mulch can be bought at lower prices. Although, you can make your own as well easily. 

Do Wood Chips Turn To Dirt?

Generally, wood chips or wood chip much often get decompose and becomes part of your soil. Keeping this in mind, you should replace the wood chip mulch used in your garden after some time. Normally you should replace it a maximum of a year after. 

Does It Have Any Effect On Wood Chips On Your Plants’ Growth?

It is usually considered that wood chips take much time to decay as compared to other mulches. Just like bark mulch or leaf mold used to decay more quickly than wood chips. Its reason is that wood chips contain high carbon and need to take compounds from the garden bed underneath them. This is why your plants lead to a lack of nutrients that are got from roots. As a result, it leads to restricting your plants’ growth.

Leave a Comment