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Posted: 1/16/2021 3:05:46 PM EST
Looking for advise or other options.
Need to do some landscaping work around my new house.  I have a few small trees in the front yard & back. Then need something to go around the house.
The house did not have rain gutters when bought & all the hard FL rains wore a nice trench around the house.  In fact I got a 1 ft hole in the front from the water off the garage.
Gutters are in, everything is pressure washed & clean.

I was thinking about mulch around the tress & rocks around the house.  I have never done either myself.  I see there's rubber mulch now that doesn't need replacement every year. Is this stuff good?
Rocks I looked at videos on, seems that route will be $$.  
Since I live in FL it's hot, humid & we get terrible rain from June-September. Plus the occasional TS or hurricane.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 3:22:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/16/2021 3:25:17 PM EST by Mike92GT]
I'm in FL as well and I'm going to be doing mine soon.  I already did the gutters and have a date set for concrete curbing.  After that I'm probably going to do rock.  Not cheap, but low maintenance and looks better IMO.  Last house I had a local company deliver the rock and I did it myself. I might pay someone this time around.  You will need a good quality weed guard, it will help keep the rock from sinking into the soil over time.  Red lava tends to be the cheapest, though I haven't priced it in a while.  No experience with the rubber mulch, but it seems like I only see it at playgrounds and not much in residential applications.  Not sure why that is.  Regular mulch in FL needs to be re-done yearly to keep it looking good.  Just my .02.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 3:36:58 PM EST
Rock needs an underlayment or it will soon be absorbed down into the soil.

Mulch occasionally requires a little work but builds soil.  Deep mulch is maintenance free.

If you have gutters, don't worry about additional erosion.

My vote - bark mulch.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 3:51:13 PM EST
I went with rock.  We just got back down to Florida to see that my lawn guy put a rock into my front window.  It was impact glass and only the outer pane broke.  

The rock seems to get moved around a lot, into the lawn on to the sidewalk, etc.  I don't know if it's critters digging around or what.  The rocks in the lawn have always been a concern and now it's happened.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 5:08:04 PM EST
If you do wood mulch, I wouldn't worry about weed fabric.  You'll get weeds growing on top of it anyway.  As mulch deteriorates,  it will help the soil if you have plants in the mulch bed.  

I mow grass for a guy that has concrete curb edging, and red lava rocks.  It's easy to blow grass clippings out of it.  Rock costs more the first year, but saves money about the third year.  I wouldn't do rubber mulch myself, mainly because blowing clippings means you are blowing the rubber mulch some as well and will need replacing at some point.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 5:22:57 PM EST
Buy once cry once.  Rocks.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 5:49:03 PM EST
Do you garden?  Then no rock.  We are paying to have the rock removed from around our home by the previous owners so we can garden.

I'm always having to police the rock that escapes its edging to tear up my lawnmower.

Even though our rock has underlayment under it--weeds still grow on and through it.  Willow trees love it.

I used to install this stuff all the time in the 90's, and I hate it.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 8:24:01 PM EST
Rocks with a weed block.

I'm two yrs into our recent move and have discovered something interesting I've never considered before. Lava rock is a lot lighter than river rock or perma bark (common basalt) and as a result it blows around with the leaf blower relatively easily. I'm constantly picking it out of the lawn along the beds.

Picking up rocks and slinging them towards the house with the string trimmer gets expensive. Plan accordingly.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 8:27:54 PM EST
In Florida, rock can absorb and hold heat. I have had rock and it is tough on some plants. Make sure you make the right choices or you can be digging up and planting constantly.
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 1:11:42 PM EST
couple considerations and points.

generally multi family (and "diverse" neighborhoods) use mulch, cuz you can't break windows with it.  

You can get rock from just about any size from sand up to 8 to 10" cobble.   and just about any color.   it does absorb heat.  It needs weed fabric and the usual suggestion is to lay the fabric one way, then lay another layer 90 deg to it.  You'll still have to use roundup and pre-emergent but it keeps it WAY down and generally keeps the roots from getting deep on the weeds.    Done forever (minus roundup) and if you get big enough rock it won't get moved by the rain/water off the roof.   It will hold heat.  3" of rock cover over fabric is plenty

wood Mulch DO NOT USE FABRIC!!!!!!!! Straight to the ground, it will knit together with ground and hold itself in place as it rots.   You need to use 4 to 8 inches of mulch and wet it down (sprinkler) after you finish.  (i.e. you'll need more mulch than rock).   if you use fabric, it will just knit to itself and when the wind really blows, it will just blow it all off and you'll be left with bare fabric.  DO NOT USE FABRIC.    Mulch decomposes, you have to keep adding more every couple years.  Good news is that it freshens it up nicely, bad news is that it isn't free.  You'll still have to use roundup and pre-emergent but again keeps the weeds way down.    Will get washed away by big rains.    Mulch is ridiculous expensive here (dunno there) but if you don't care about finished look, tree trimmers always need places to dump their mulch/trimmings and it's almost free or minimal charge.  Be aware that you can introduce bugs/diseases into your yard that weren't there from doing this. (but free is free).  Much cooler than rock but requires maintenance and renewal every few years, also you need literally double the yardage of mulch vs. rock, but you don't have to pay for or put down fabric.  Also a wheelbarrow full of mulch weighs WAY LESS than one of rock.
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 4:31:56 PM EST
I have recycled rubber mulch, it lasts for a very long time and since it is heavier than wood mulch doesn't wash away as easily in heavy rains.  

I had decomposed granite before and much preferred that look, but got tired of pulling weeds.  The mineral content of decomposed granite really encourages growth.

I would not go back to anything but rubber mulch at this point.  

Link Posted: 1/17/2021 7:11:57 PM EST
Wow good responses.....
At this point I'm looking at the rubber mulch. Seems to hold up well in FL from the others I have spoken to.  For sure around the few little trees I have.  Maybe in the back of the house as well.  I may do rock just in the front.  I'm not a garden person, no plans to plant anything.

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