Rock, gravel, pebbles and other stones can be applied to landscaping features such as flowerbeds to suppress weed growth and retain moisture. Rock is economical and seldom needs replacement. It also complements modern architectural features and more minimalist landscaping. In cooler climates, heat retained by rock mulch can often extend the growing season.
One small drawback of rock mulch is, because it doesn’t decompose, it doesn’t return as many nutrients to the soil as biodegradable mulches. This is easily remedied by periodically applying fertilizers, giving plants an extra nutritional boost.