Compost vs Mulches: What Should You Use For Your Garden?

Compost Suppliers

Mulch and compost are vital for a healthy garden, but they work differently.

Basically, mulch goes on top of the soil to prevent weeds, keep moisture, and regulate temperature. Compost, on the other hand, goes underneath the topsoil to nourish the soil with essential nutrients.

However, using them in the wrong way might harm your garden and plants. Learn the differences between compost and mulch, when to use each, and when it's best to use them together for a thriving garden.

What is Compost?

Compost consists of organic material like discarded vegetables, grass, leaves, manure, weeds, and plant leftovers.

These organics break down a process called composting, transforming these materials into nutrient-rich soil amendments without air.

This nutrient-packed compost is great for plant growth, reducing the need for chemical fertilisers or pesticides. So, search for Compost Suppliers and invest in compost to make your plants feel healthy and look fresh.

Uses for Compost

Soil Enrichment:

Compost improves soil structure, enhances its fertility, and thus increases its ability to retain moisture.

Plant Nutrient Source:

It acts as a natural, nutrient-rich fertiliser for plants, providing essential elements for their healthy growth.

Weed Control:

Applying compost as mulch or soil cover helps suppress weed growth, reducing the need for synthetic herbicides.

Enhanced Microbial Activity:

It promotes beneficial microbial activity in the soil, fostering a healthy environment for plants.

Environmental Benefits:

Utilising compost helps reduce waste in landfills and reduces methane emissions, contributing to a more sustainable environment.

Seed Starting:

Compost can be used as a seed-starting mix, providing a fertile environment for seeds to germinate and grow.

How much road base do You Need?

Determining the right amount of road base for your project isn't one-size-fits-all. It depends on your specific needs and where you're using it. Whether it's for a garden or paving, the road base requirements vary. Prices also differ based on the type you need, so consider that, too.

For a basic driveway or road repair, you can typically estimate about 10 tonnes per meter of road base for a solid foundation. So, a 100-meter road would need 1,000 tonnes of material. The width of the road or driveway is important here.

These estimates assume a 3-inch thickness for standard use, but you can go up to 6 inches for high-traffic areas like highways. Also, think about the final surface and any additional materials you plan to use.

Regardless of the thickness or material used, a road base must be properly compacted and graded to ensure that it provides a stable and supportive foundation for the road surface.

What is Mulch?

Mulch is a protective cover laid over the soil to keep it from drying out and more. There are two main types:

Synthetic Mulch:

These are human-made. Examples include rubber, plastic sheets, or geotextiles like landscape fabric, cardboard, and newspaper.

Organic Mulch:

The most common kind found at garden centres. This includes wood chips, hardwood or softwood bark, pine needles, cones, hay, straw, and various natural materials like cocoa, rice hulls, and tree leaves.

   Uses for Mulch

Mulch serves various purposes in gardening and landscaping:

Retain Soil Moisture:

Garden Mulches helps soil retain moisture by reducing evaporation, benefiting plant growth.

Regulate Soil Temperature:

Acts as an insulator, keeping the soil cooler in summer and warmer in winter, providing an optimal environment for plants.

Weed Suppression:

Helps prevent weed growth by blocking sunlight and hindering weed germination.


Enhances the visual appeal of garden beds and landscapes by providing a neat and uniform appearance.

Reduce Soil Erosion:

Protects the topsoil from washing away due to wind or water erosion, maintaining soil structure and health.

Prevent Freezing of Roots:

Provides a protective layer, insulating roots from extreme cold, especially in winter, reducing the risk of root damage.

When to Use Which?

Choosing between compost and mulch depends on your objective. If your focus is soil enrichment for added nutrients and texture improvement, working mature compost into the top layers of your garden soil is recommended. On the other hand, if weed control and reduced irrigation are:

  • Your main concerns.
  • Applying mulch—preferably one that decomposes over time—is ideal.
  • Providing the added advantage of soil improvement.

For optimal sustainability, it's beneficial to recycle yard waste and kitchen scraps as compost. However, if time is a constraint, readily available compost from the market is a viable alternative. Additionally, for garden bed protection, adding extra layers of mulch is always a favourable choice.


Mulch and compost offer remarkable benefits to your garden and landscape when used effectively. However, if you're uncertain about their proper application, our experts can assist you. They'll help you select the right compost and provide guidance on how to use it for optimal results in your garden.