Although inorganic mulches can be used to create attractive and low maintenance planting beds, they also can create a few problems.
Problems With Inorganic Mulch:
- Large areas of inorganic mulch may increase soil temperature
- Avoid black plastic - it does not allow water, nutrients or air to penetrate the soil
- Inorganic mulches do not provide nutrients to plants
- Rubber mulch may be harmful to plants
A Note on Weed Barrier or Landscape Fabrics:
Weed barrier fabric does not work well in areas where perennial weeds are a problem.
- Perennial weeds will eventually grow through or over the top of the fabric
- Reseeding perennials establish on the top of fabric making them very difficult to remove or transplant without damaging the roots
- Organic matter (mulch) remains on top of the fabric and does not mix with the soil
- Restricts ground nesting bee habitat
California - Landscape Mulch May Pose Fire Hazard
Washington - The Myth of Rubberized Landscapes
Missouri - Mulches (pros and cons)