By selecting materials thoughtfully and applying them correctly, the annual maintenance is likely to decrease. There tons of different mulches you can choose for your SE Wisconsin property, but to get more sustainable value from this material it’s important to consider how these different types of mulch are harvested and processed. For example, while still retaining moisture, hardwood mulch is fibrous and knits together well which is why it’s often used to inhibit soil erosion and weed germination. Dyed mulch is not recommended for sustainable landscapes, though it often appeals to property owners because of its rich color. (But remember, appearance is a side benefit—not its main purpose). The content of dyed mulches can actually harm plant and soil health, and seep into water run-off; therefore, negatively impacting the environment. The most cost effective and most commonly used mulch in Wisconsin is shredded hardwood mulch.
As for the way mulch is processed, it’s best to stick with bulk mulch. Plastic waste is a bi-product of the bagged variety sold in retail stores and sometimes even offered by landscape companies. Reducing that unnecessary plastic, you’re actually increasing the sustainable value of your mulch, and decreasing waste!