Mulch or rock
I live in Newburgh, Indiana and I am considering putting in medium size river rock in my flower beds on the south side of the house (they will get sun all day). Will the heat from the sun heat up the rocks to where they will cook my plants? I will have daylillies, snapdragons, and tulips among other plants in the bed. If not what can I use beside mulch? thank you for any help you can give me.
Submitted by indywj50

Hi, I assume you are thinking of using the rock as a mulch? If so, I would not do that. Not because the rocks will heat up, but because, once in place, rocks can be a nightmare to work around. They work fine in a permanent planting like with trees and shrubs, but if you are growing perennials and bulbs, the rocks will make it very difficult to dig in your garden, divide your perennials or plant new bulbs. I would use shredded bark mulch as a mulch because it works well and you can pull it aside easily if you need to dig or plant. You do have to replace some of it every year or two, but at least it's not difficult to remove if you have to.

Answered by doug.jimerson