Wood mulch is comprised of wood that is ground in large commercial grinders. Woodmulch varies based upon what materials are ground up.
Wood mulch is typically used as the topmost portion of ground coverings for plants. It can be used to refer to both inorganic and organic materials that are spread on top of soil as a top dressing. The material used could be leaves, lawn clippings, shredded wood.
Mulch provides benefits such as limiting weed growth, moderating soil temperature, reducing the potential for erosion, and enhancing moisture retention in the underlying soil. It also adds visual appeal to your area.
When using organic mulch, such as shredded leaves, shredded wood or lawn clippings, gardeners get the added benefits of improved soil structure and added nutrients as it decomposes.
Okay, now that we have a basic understanding of what compost is and what mulch is, let’s make the differences a bit clearer.
Compost is mixed into the soil; whereas, mulch is spread on top of the soil.
Compost is best at adding nutrients to the soil and “improving” soil structure.
Mulch is best at limiting weed growth, preventing erosion and retaining soil moisture.
Compost is made up of decomposed, organic materials; whereas, mulch can be inorganic (think ornamental rocks or ground rubber chips) or organic materials like wood, that, in most cases, are not decomposed.
Compost is usually a rich dark color of deep brown to black, and no colorants are added. Mulch, however, can be dyed with various colorants in big machines to make it black, brown, golden or even red. Dying is more expensive and will cost more.