Vigoro vs Scotts Mulch | What’s the Difference? - The Backyard Pros (2024)

Mulching your yard can help your plants stay healthy and reduce the amount of watering you need to do. It also makes flowerbeds and pathways look much nicer. There are a lot of different mulch brands available, including Vigoro and Scotts. This guide will compare the two to help you decide which is the best option for your yard.

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What’s the Main Difference Between Vigoro and Scotts Mulch?

The main difference between Vigoro and Scotts mulch is the material that they are made from. Both offer a wood mulch line, but Scotts use reclaimed forest wood while Vigoro uses scrap wood (like most mulch brands). Vigoro also offers a rubber option, which is great if you don’t want to replenish the mulch when it degrades. The other big difference is that Scotts mulch holds its color much better than Vigoro mulch.

There is also a big price difference between the two, with Scotts being more expensive than Vigoro.

What is Vigoro Mulch?

Vigoro vs Scotts Mulch | What’s the Difference? - The Backyard Pros (1)

Vigoro Mulch is a wood mulch product that is designed for use on flowerbeds in your yard. Laying mulch over the top of the soil will help with moisture retention, so you don’t have to water plants as often. It can also prevent weeds and control the temperature, so plants are not burned in hot weather. Vigoro Mulch also comes in a range of colors, so it has great aesthetic appeal too.

What Mulch Does Vigoro Offer?

Vigoro offers a good line of natural wood mulch in different colors, and they also have a rubber mulch too.

1. Premium Wood Mulch (Brown, Black, & Red)

The Premium Wood Mulch is their core product line and it comes in 3 color options; brown, black, and red. It’s a great option if you have a large area to cover because one bag will cover around 8 square feet (with a 3 inch layer). It is also quite affordable compared with a lot of other products on the market.

The color holds quite well too, even in the rain. That said, if it gets wet in the first 24 hours, the color will run more, so check the weather before you first put it down and wait a day before watering the plants.

In terms of longevity, this mulch is not the best performer out there. However, it is very affordable, so it’s still a great choice.

2. Premium Rubber Mulch (Red & Brown)

Vigoro also sells a Premium Rubber Mulch, made from recycled rubber. Wood mulch will eventually break down into the soil so you need to spread more every 3-4 years. If you want to reduce your yard maintenance, you may opt for this rubber mulch instead.

Although it does break down eventually, it will last for years to come. The other great thing about rubber mulch is that it doesn’t attract bugs and termites in the same way that wood mulch does. It is available in red and brown, and there is a 12-year color guarantee too.

Where Can You Buy Vigoro Mulch?

Vigoro Mulch is not readily available on sites like Amazon. You can sometimes find it in specialist gardening stores, but it’s more difficult to find. You can get the full range of Vigoro mulch from Home Depot, and this is the most reliable place to buy it.

It’s worth checking the prices regularly because it often goes on sale. If you pick up a few bags when the price is low, you don’t have to use it straight away. This is a great way to save money later on.

What is Scott’s Mulch?

Vigoro vs Scotts Mulch | What’s the Difference? - The Backyard Pros (2)

Scott’s is a premium mulch brand that tries to differentiate itself from other brands. While a lot of wood mulch is made from scrap wood and old pallets, Scott’s has brands made from a mixture of reclaimed forest materials. They offer a few different types of mulch, but they do not have a rubber mulch.

What Mulch Does Scotts Offer?

1. Scotts Nature Scapes Color Enhanced Mulch (Forest Brown, Sierra Red, & Classic Black)

The Scotts Nature Scapes Color Enhanced Mulch is a premium mulch available in 3 different colors; Forest Brown, Sierra Red, and Classic Black). On the surface, it looks very similar to the Vigoro products. You use it in the same way and it helps with moisture retention, weed prevention, and temperature control.

You can see the latest price on Amazon here!

However, this is a better quality product with a higher price tag. The main differentiating feature is the ColorGuard Technology, which locks in the color and guarantees that it won’t fade. So, if you are concerned about the mulch’s effectiveness as a decorative feature, this may be the better option. That said, you will pay quite a bit more for it.

Scott’s also gives you less coverage per bag – around 6 square feet compared with the 8 square feet you get from Vigoro.

2. Earthgro by Scotts Mulch (Black, Brown, & Red)

The Earthgro Mulch is their range made from reclaimed forest materials. This comes with a guarantee that there are no construction materials (which can be found in mulch made from pallets) which can damage the soil.

Although this is not a huge problem, if you are serious about gardening and you want to carefully control the soil composition, it may be worth going for the Earthgro over the standard mulch. This one is available in black, brown, and red, and it uses the same ColorGuard Technology to make sure that it stays vibrant until it has completely broken down.

Where Can You Buy Scotts Mulch?

Scotts Mulch is far more readily available than Vigoro products. You’ll find it on most online retailers including Amazon, Lowes, and Home Depot. You’ll find it in most good gardening and DIY stores too, and even some supermarkets.

Which Mulch Costs Less?

Vigoro is the cheaper option of the two. This is largely down to the way that the mulch is made. It’s cheaper to make mulch from scrap wood products than it is to use reclaimed forest materials. So, Vigoro gives you more coverage for a lower price. However, as with most things, you get what you pay for. Scotts is more expensive, but it’s a higher quality product.

Which Mulch will Last Longer?

It’s hard to separate the Vigoro wood mulch and the Scotts mulch in terms of longevity. Both will last around 3-4 years before they break down and you need to spread more. However, there is a big difference where longevity of color is concerned. Scotts mulch uses the ColorGuard Technology to lock the color in, so it will stay bright for much longer than the Vigoro.

That said, Vigoro’s rubber mulch lasts the longest. Rubber takes far longer than wood to degrade, so you can get around 10 years out of it before it needs replacing. If low-maintenance options are your priority, Vigoro rubber mulch comes out on top.

What is Vigoro Mulch Known for?

Vigoro mulch is known as a reliable, affordable option. It may not be the best performing mulch money can buy, but it’s very cheap for what it is. It still does the job you need it to do, and you get good coverage, so you won’t have to spend a fortune. The rubber mulch, in particular, is excellent value for money.

What is Scotts Mulch Known for?

Scotts mulch is a premium brand. It is more expensive, but you get better quality for the money. It is made from higher-quality materials and the ColorGuard Technology means that it stays looking good for longer. You won’t get as much coverage and you will spend more to do your yard. However, it offers superior water retention and weed protection, and better color. If you’re looking for the best aesthetic option, Scotts is the way to go.

Who Offers More Mulch Products?

Scotts offers two lines of mulch; the Nature Scapes and the Earthgro. Vigoro also offers two lines of mulch, but they give you more choice. The main differentiating factor between the two Scotts products is the source of the wood used. But Vigoro offers rubber mulch as well as wood, so they have a better range.

The Verdict | Which Mulch Should I Buy?

Ultimately, it depends on what your priorities are. If you are going to buy wood mulch and you don’t mind replenishing it every 3-4 years, I would go for Scotts Earthgro. Although it’s more expensive, it’s made with better, more natural materials that have zero chance of damaging the soil.

It also performs better and holds the color much better, so it’s worth paying the money for. That said, if you just want an easy option that you can put down and forget about, the Vigoro rubber mulch delivers that.

Read my related mulch articles here:

  • Pros and Cons of Pine Straw Mulch
  • Will Grass Grow Through Mulch? (All You Need to Know)
  • Does Bagged Mulch Go Bad?
  • The Pros and Cons of Black Mulch
  • How to Dispose of Wood Mulch
  • 10 Best Plants for Rock Mulch (Full Guide)
  • How to Remove Mulch and Replace with Grass
  • How Much Does a Bag Of Mulch Weigh? (Scotts, Vigoro, etc…)

Vigoro vs Scotts Mulch | What’s the Difference? - The Backyard Pros (3)


Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.


Vigoro vs Scotts Mulch | What’s the Difference? - The Backyard Pros (2024)


What type of mulch lasts the longest? ›

Which mulch lasts the longest? Stone is the longest-lasting mulch, followed by landscape fabric. Black plastic and rubber mulch last a long time, and help with both heat and water retention in the soil, though they're also more expensive than stone or landscape fabric.

Is all mulch the same? ›

There are two categories of mulch, organic and inorganic, and both have advantages and disadvantages. Organic mulch: This natural substance is not made of anything synthetic and is the best option for adding beneficial nutrients to your garden. It can suppress weeds, but it doesn't permanently block weeds.

What is the best mulch for flower beds? ›

We recommend aged hardwood mulch, applied in a light layer, around your flower beds. Well-aged wood mulch is an ideal choice for flower beds, as it adds nutrients to the soil as it decomposes. Softwood mulch, usually made from pine, can add a bit too much acidity, and doesn't decompose quickly.

What is the best mulch to stop weeds? ›

Woodchips. Not only great for mulch but also make an attractive feature in your garden. Putting down a 4–6cm layer provides good weed control.

How many inches of mulch is best? ›

Knowing how much mulch to use can be tricky. A 1-inch to 2-inch layer of fine mulch should be sufficient, while a coarser material should be 3 to 4 inches deep. Too much of either type can suffocate your plants. In areas where you simply want to keep anything from growing, you can lay it on as thick as you like.

What mulch to avoid? ›

Finally, avoid large, bark type mulch or big wood chips. Since these big pieces take a long time to decompose, and they end up depriving the soil and plants of nutrients.

Is there a difference in the quality of mulch? ›

The makeup of your mulch does matter. Here's why—organic mulch breaks down into the soil over time, adding in nutrients. But inorganic mulch doesn't dissolve, so soil quality pretty much stays the same. Both types of mulch have their advantages, which can help you pick the right option.

What should I put down before mulching? ›

If you are unable to clear the area of weeds it is best to put down landscape fabric before mulching. Preen, or a similar pre emergent weed prevent, can also be used before, or after mulching. Be mindful of what you put under your garden beds, as it will be very difficult to remove once it's covered in earth.

What color mulch keeps bugs away? ›

Other findings from the University of Florida have reported that silver, yellow and orange mulches were most effective at keeping bugs at bay. Overall, black mulch appears to be one of the most conducive colors for attracting insects.

Which mulch smells the best? ›

Cedar and cedar blends have a pleasant fragrance. Cedar lasts longer than other organic mulch and acts as a deterrent to insects, especially when it's fresh. Cypress blends also have a pleasant fragrance. Cypress can deter insects and fungi, and it retains water effectively.

What flowers do not like mulch? ›

Some of the worst effected plants are grassy plants (iris, daylilies, liriope, etc.), Indian Hawthorn, Azaleas and Loropetalum. Over mulching is one of the most costly and common mistake people make. Landscapers are the worst about over mulching…

How to pick the right mulch? ›

Bark mulches consisting of large pieces will last longer than smaller bark and shredded-wood mulches. In general, pick a type with larger chunks, because it'll decompose more slowly. And choose bark-type mulches (such as pine bark nuggets) before shredded wood types (such as cedar bark mulch, cypress and hardwood).

Does mulch attract termites? ›

While the material itself does not draw termites to the area, mulch spread over three inches deep creates an inviting habitat for the pests. Layers of organic matter trap heat and moisture next to the ground. Termites use this thick mulch as shelter from harsh weather. Some kinds of mulch may even repel termites.

What is the best mulch that won't wash away? ›

Pine needles are naturally acidic as they break down, making them excellent for mulching around plants that prefer acidic soils (azaleas, rhododendrons,camellias, etc.) During heavy rain events, pine needles tend to stay put and not wash away, making them an excellent choice on slopes.

What type of mulch does not fade? ›

If you prefer an inorganic type of mulch, consider river rocks, pea gravel, pebbles, or lava rocks. These "mulches" keep their color longer and will not decompose like wood mulches so you don't need to replace them as often.

Should you remove mulch every year? ›

Your mulch can last for two or three years if properly applied. However, we always want to avoid a mulch layer that's too thick, so we recommend checking the depth of your existing mulch and removing some as you apply a fresh layer.

How long is mulch supposed to last? ›

Organic mulch normally lasts 4-6 years. Though, several factors may cause you to have to replace or replenish mulch every 1-2 years. Organic mulch decomposes over time, so it will need to be replaced eventually.

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