All growers and gardeners know the value of good mulch in making the soil healthier and a better environment for plants.
Mulch is simply any material that is used to cover the soil’s surface to mimic nature’s fallen debris and plant leaves.
They also work as a nutrient for the microorganisms in the soil. After feeding, these microflora produce waste that helps in feeding the plants and keeping them in better shape.
If you’re looking for the best mulch for a vegetable garden, you’ve come to the right place! In today’s article, we’ll walk you through all reviews of the best options on the market, so you can pick the most suitable one for your garden. Let’s hop in!
Top 7 Vegetable Garden Mulch Options Available on the Market
Now, let's take a look at 7 different options for mulch for your garden.
We've picked a wide variety of options so let's take a closer look at them.
FibreDust CoCo Mulch - Best Coconut Husk Mulch
Coconut husk is one of the overall best options for growing vegetables. The FibreDust CoCo Mulch is designed in the form of a compressed block that expands to cover up to 2 cubic feet, making it ideal for medium-sized gardens and easy to store in larger quantities.
To use it, you only need to rehydrate it with 4 gallons of water. The husk mulch provides excellent weed prevention and is fairly renewable because it’s entirely made of organic husk that has naturally high water and nutrient retention.
Another thing that we like about this type of mulch is that it looks fairly nice because it adds reddish-brown flooring for a lovelier landscape.
Keep in mind that coconut husk mulch is suitable for vegetables that require excess water, making it a good solution for sloped gardening.
- Looks good in your garden
- Suitable for sloped landscapes
- Can be stored in bulk
- Not suitable with low water tolerant plants
Charlie's Compost - Best Compost Mulch
What’s great about compost mulches like Charlie’s Compost is that it’s not only a secondary source of nutrition like other types of mulch, but it has a huge surplus of nutrients that can leach directly into your vegetable garden soil.
In addition to that, it still does all the functions of a regular soil mulch. For example, compost is a highly recommended choice if you’re looking forward to building a better soil texture and tilth. Despite all the merits, compost may produce some issues that not many people are down with.
For example, they should be used in large amounts, so they’re not the most cost-efficient option out there. However, they’re your way to go if you want to see quick and natural size improvements!
- Excellent nutrient for the soil
- Helps in producing larger veggies
- Improves weed suppression
- Needs to be used in generous amounts
100% Natural Cedar Chips Mulch - Best Wood Chip Mulch
Wood chips are the most common type of mulch out there because they’re extremely cost-effective and come in a huge variety of types and colors.
We like the Natural Cedar Chips mulch breaks down easily and quickly, transferring the organic matter into the soil by earthworms. This allows for the enrichment of the soil and enjoying healthier yield.
You should keep in mind that you’ll need to replenish them on a periodical basis to maintain their abilities to conserve water and fight the weed.
- Regulate the soil temperature
- Can control weed to some extent
- Removes bad soil odor
- Wood pieces mixed up with soil is pretty hard to work with and separate
USA Premium Pine Straw - Best Pine Needle Mulch
Pine needles are a pretty common option for vegetable gardens too. They’re specifically great if you’re trying to lower the pH of the soil (raise acidity) without using drastic measures or harsh chemicals.
They also hold up water pretty well and won’t be washed away by heavy rain. For that reason, they can be an excellent alternative to coconut husk mulch in sloped vegetable gardens.
Keep in mind that needle hay will break down a bit slower than wood chips, so they’re a better option if you want a steady release of nutrition.
- A great alternative for sloped gardens
- Protects the soil from relatively cold temperatures
- They turn silvery white as they age and add a nice visual appeal to the garden
- Doesn’t add a huge nutrient value to the soil
ECOgardener Premium 5oz Pro Garden Weed Barrier - Best Plastic Mulch
Plastic found its way in almost every industry, including gardening. Today, plastic mulch is extremely popular and comes in two types: black and clear polyethylene.
Ideally, black plastic like ECOgardener mulch is better than clear plastic because it has all the benefits of clear mulch, such as raising soil temperature, as well as the added benefit of suppressing weed growth.
Another great use of plastic mulch is that they prevent the evaporation of moisture from the soil, so yo9u need to water the veggies less frequently.
The only problem about them is that they don’t offer any form of nutritional value to your soil and won’t break down on their own.
- Excellent weed suppression
- Easily used with water systems to retain soil hydration
- Help in raising soil temperature
- They’re pretty difficult to dispose of because they don’t break down naturally
- Poor soil aeration
Weed Guard Paper Mulch Roll - Best Paper Mulch
Paper mulch is a great alternative to plastic, except that paper is biodegradable, so you won’t have a hard time getting rid of them.
Another edge they have over plastic is that they’re made of natural cellulose fibers, which have larger pores that allow for better soil aeration.
And as the name suggests, the Weed Guard Paper mulch is an excellent solution to block weeds and keep the soil warm, just like plastic.
Of course, the only downside of paper mulch, when compared to plastic, is that it typically costs more and not easy to find.
- Natural weed suppression
- Maintains soil aeration
- Biodegradable and requires low maintenance
- A bit pricey
Small Pet Select Natural Paper Bedding - Best Budget Option
Last but not least, if you’re on a strict budget and looking for a decent solution that would still work for vegetable gardens, you might want to consider this offbeat solution!
Paper-based pet beddings like Small Pet Select are made of 100% natural paper shreddings. This means that they’re organic, and biodegradable because soil critters will consume them.
These can be an excellent alternative to using old newspapers that might leach chemicals from ink that disrupts the soil’s pH.
As you can see, the Small Pet Select comes in a huge variety of compressed packs that will expand up to 3 times their size. This allows them to cover a relatively large garden without breaking the bank!
- Ideal solution for buyers on a strict budget
- Easy to store
- 100% organic and biodegradable without any chemical additives
- Not suitable for all types of plants
What Are the Benefits of Using Mulch for Vegetable Gardening?
Mulch can be used for a wide variety of applications, such as:
- Reducing weeds growth by depriving them of light
- Maintaining the moisture within the soil by preventing evaporation
- Limiting soil erosion
- Optimizing soil temperature
- Protecting the plant from the elements of weather, such as heavy rain or wind
How to Choose the Ideal Mulch for Vegetable Gardening?
What You’re Growing Matters
The vegetable you’re growing as well as your intentions of using much have a huge impact on the ideal type of mulch for your garden.
For example, some plants, especially vegetable greens, prefer cool temperatures. In case you’re growing this type of crop, you should avoid heat-retentive much, such as plastic.
Instead, you should go for paper-based mulch because they’re good at allowing the heat to escape from the soil to keep the plant cool.
Type of Mulch
Different types of mulch might outperform others in specific features. For example, vegetables that require extra warmth would benefit from types of mulch that would raise the temperature of the soil, such as plastic.
On the other hand, water-retentive mulch like pine needles and coconut husk is great for sloped gardens and water-loving veggies.
Type and Status of Soil
Mulch is supposed to complement the soil. For example, if the soil type already has good water retention but attracts a lot of weed, you should focus on weed-suppressing features to protect the plants from drowning and root rot.
Looking to make the most of gardening this season? Check out these helpful guides:
- Best Insecticide for Vegetable Garden
- How to Plan a Spring Garden
- Garden Plans You Should Be Making Right Now
- The Best Gardening Soil to Buy
- Finding the Best Gardening Knee Pads
Choosing the Best Mulch for Your Vegetable Garden
There you have it! A brief guide with reviews of the best mulch options for vegetable gardening. As you can see, there are plenty of organic and inorganic materials that will work great for your plants.
Let's take a look at our favorites one more time:
Before choosing the ideal one from the reviewed options, make sure that you check whether they’re a good fit for the specific types of plants you’re growing.
Ideally, I’d pick FibreDust Coconut Husk Mulch as the best overall option because it provides an excellent solution for beginners, works with a huge variety of plants, and gives a pretty aesthetic to your garden.
However, if you’re on a strict budget and looking for a cost-efficient solution, you may want to try paper beddings for pets because they’re paper-based and cover a medium-sized garden for a low price!
Last update on 2022-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API