Best Uses For Bark and Sand in a Backyard in Utah?

Welcome to Kilgore Landscape Center in Salt Lake City, Utah! Today, we’re explaining why homeowners in Utah use bark and sand in backyard landscaping since our climate creates unique soil conditions in Utah. Whether you're a professional contractor or a DIY landscaper, understanding how to use our bark products and landscaping sand can transform your backyard or front yard.

Why Use Bark and Sand in Utah?

Before explaining specific applications, it's important to understand why bark and sand are particularly useful for Utah landscapes. Utah's climate ranges from arid deserts to mountainous regions with significant snowfall. These diverse conditions need landscaping solutions that are adaptable, low maintenance, and able to withstand extreme temperatures and moisture levels.

Landscaping Sand and Bark at Kilgore Landscape Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Find bulk mulch products, play sand, natural bark and other soil landscaping products.

Benefits of Bark Products

  1. Moisture Retention: Bark mulch is excellent at retaining soil moisture, which is important in Utah's dry climate. It reduces evaporation, helping plants stay hydrated longer.
  2. Temperature Regulation: Bark acts as a natural insulator, keeping the soil cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, protecting plant roots.
  3. Weed Suppression: A layer of bark mulch helps suppress weed growth by blocking sunlight and making it difficult for weeds to establish.
  4. Soil Improvement: As bark decomposes, it adds organic matter to the soil, improving its structure and fertility over time.
  5. Aesthetic Appeal: With so many colors and textures, bark can improve the visual appeal of your landscape with a natural look.

Benefits of Landscaping Sand

  1. Drainage Improvement: Sand is a great landscaping material for improving soil drainage in areas prone to heavy rainfall or snowmelt.
  2. Leveling and Grading: Sand is known for leveling and grading your yard, creating a stable base for patios, walkways, and other hardscapes.
  3. Erosion Control: In combination with other materials, sand can help prevent soil erosion, a common issue in Utah landscaping.
  4. Flexibility and Versatility: Sand can be used in so many landscaping projects, from playgrounds to garden paths.

Now, Kilgore Landscape Center will explore some of the best uses of bark and sand for your backyard in Utah.

Best Uses for Bark

  1. Mulching Around Plants

Bark mulch is a popular choice for mulching around trees, shrubs, and garden beds. Apply a 2-4 inch layer of bark around the base of plants, making sure to keep it a few inches away from the stems or trunks to prevent rot. This mulch layer will help conserve moisture, reduce weeds, and gradually enrich the soil as it decomposes.

  1. Creating Pathways

Bark mulch pathways are not only aesthetic but also practical. They provide a soft, natural walking surface that blends seamlessly into the landscape. To create a bark pathway:

- Mark out the desired path.

- Remove any existing grass or weeds.

- Lay down a landscape fabric to prevent weed growth.

- Spread a 3-4 inch layer of bark mulch over the fabric.

  1. Enhancing Play Areas

For families with children, bark mulch and landscaping sand are safe and aesthetically pleasing options for playground areas. They provide soft landing surfaces that can help cushion falls, making play areas safer. Make sure that the mulch is applied at least 9-12 inches deep for enough shock absorption.

  1. Decorative Ground Cover

Bark can be used as a decorative ground cover in areas where you want a low-maintenance, landscape. It works well under trees, in garden beds, or in spaces where grass struggles to grow due to shade or poor soil conditions.

  1. Erosion Control on Slopes

If you have sloped areas in your yard, bark mulch can help prevent erosion. Spread a thick layer of bark over the slope to stabilize the soil and reduce runoff. For steeper slopes, consider using bark in combination with erosion-control blankets or mats for more stability.

Best Uses for Sand

  1. Improving Soil Drainage

In regions with clay-heavy soil in Utah, adding landscape sand can improve soil drainage. Mix sand into the topsoil to create a looser, more aerated soil structure that allows water to permeate more easily. This is particularly helpful for planting beds and gardens where good drainage is important for plant health.

  1. Creating a Base for Patios and Walkways

Landscaping sand is the best material for creating a stable base for patios and walkways. Here’s how to do it:

- Excavate the area to the desired depth.

- Lay down a layer of landscape weed fabric to prevent weed growth.

- Spread a 2-4 inch layer of sand over the fabric and level it.

- Compact the sand to create a solid base before laying pavers or stones.

  1. Building a Sandbox

For families with young children, a sandbox can be a fun landscaping project for your backyard with kids. Use clean, fine sand specifically designed for playgrounds. Build a wooden frame, fill it with sand, and let the kids run wild!

  1. Creating a Beach Area

If you have a pool or a pond, make a beach area using sand. Not only does this increase the value of your house but is also an easy landscaping idea for your backyard. Create efficient drainage to prevent the sand from washing away, and add a border to contain the sand within the designated area.

  1. Leveling Lawn Areas

Sand is a great landscaping material for leveling low spots in your lawn. Spread a thin layer of landscaping sand over uneven areas and use a rake to level it out. Water the area thoroughly to help the sand settle, and repeat the process until the lawn is even.

Combine Bark and Sand for the Best Results

In many landscaping projects, combining bark and sand can create even better results. Here are a few ways to effectively use both landscaping materials:

  1. Creating Functional Garden Beds

Start with a base layer of sand to improve drainage, then top it with a layer of bark mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds. This combination is really useful in raised garden beds or areas with poor soil drainage.

  1. Enhancing Outdoor Seating Areas

For a landscaping design with a natural and aesthetic outdoor seating area, use sand as the base to level the ground and provide stability. Top it with a layer of bark mulch for added comfort and aesthetic appeal. This setup works well for picnic areas, fire pits, and casual seating spaces.

  1. Designing Dry Creek Beds

Dry creek beds are both functional and aesthetic landscaping ideas that manage stormwater runoff and prevent erosion. Use sand as the base material to create drainage, and add decorative landscaping rocks and brown shredded bark mulch to mimic the look of a natural streambed. This not only manages water but also adds a nice natural color to your landscaping design.

Where to Buy Landscaping Sand and Bark in Salt Lake City, Utah

Kilgore Landscape Center is the best landscaping materials center in Salt Lake City, Utah. We offer hundreds of landscaping products for DIY landscapers who are working on small projects or professional contractors working on large-scale projects. Whatever landscaping project you’re working on, we’ve got you covered.

Bulk Bark Products

Small Natural Bark: 

Small Natural Bark from Kilgore Landscape Center


  • Price: $80.00 per cubic yard, 1 cubic yard minimum charge per load
  • Description: All-natural decorative groundcover made from Douglas Fir bark.
  • Size: Small nuggets and shreds, ½ inch to 2 inches long.
  • Benefits:
    • Creates a natural aesthetic.
    • Suppresses weeds.
    • Retains soil moisture.
    • Insulates plant roots from extreme temperatures.
    • Reduces soil erosion.
    • Aids in soil conditioning.
  • Uses: Ground cover, natural landscapes, potted plant decor, patios, and walkways.

Black Shredded Mulch:

Black Shredded Bulk Mulch Products
  • Rich, black color complements a variety of designs.
  • Suppresses weeds, retains moisture, and insulates roots for flower beds, gardens, and around trees/shrubs.
  • Great for erosion control on slopes.
  • Use for ground cover, natural landscapes, potted plants, patios, and walkways.

Brown Shredded Mulch:

Brown Shredded Bulk Mulch Products
  • Natural and rustic look for a classic touch.
  • Same benefits as black mulch: weed suppression, moisture retention, root insulation.
  • Perfect for ground cover, natural landscapes, potted plants, patios, and walkways.

Nutri-Mulch (Turkey Compost Blend):

Turkey Mulch Nutri Blend Bulk Mulch Products
  • Nutrient powerhouse! Provides essential nutrients to improve soil structure and promote healthy plant growth.
  • Ideal for vegetable gardens: Till it in before planting or use as a top dressing for established plants.
  • Adds organic matter and essential minerals to depleted soils.

Bulk Landscaping Sand Products

Bedding Sand:


Bedding Landscaping Sand


  • Price: $35.00 per ton, $50.00 minimum charge per load (delivery extra, call for pricing)
  • Description: Screened sand for leveling under pavers, bedding pipes, etc. Medium coarse sand screened to 3/16 inches.
  • Common Uses: As a base for pavers, flagstone, and other patio materials.
  • Installation: This sand is typically used in a 1-2 inch layer on top of a road base or gravel for patios.

Beach Sand / Play Sand:


Beach play landscaping sand from Kilgore Landscape Center


  • Price: $36.50 per ton, $50.00 minimum charge per load (delivery extra, call for pricing)
  • Description: Fine screened sand, perfect for sandboxes and children's play areas. Holds its shape when moist, ideal for sandcastle building.
  • Common Uses: Sandboxes, play areas, creativity zones.

Topsoil Screened Sandy Loam Topsoil:


Topsoil Screened Landscaping Sand from Kilgore Landscape Center


  • Price: $26.00 per ton, $50.00 minimum charge per load (delivery extra, call for pricing)
  • Description: Sandy loam topsoil, ideal for planting.
  • Medium brown color: Blends well with existing landscapes.
  • Perfect for under sod installation: Creates a healthy base for new lawns.
  • Use in new garden beds: Add nutrients and improve drainage for flourishing plants. (Adding mulch on top helps loosen the soil texture further.)
  • Fill low areas or holes: Even out your lawn or garden for a polished look.

Polymeric Sand Granite (50 lb Bags):


Polymeric Granite Landscaping Sand from Kilgore Landscape Center


  • Call for pricing & availability (in-store purchase only at West Jordan Kilgore Landscape Center)
  • Fills and locks paver joints up to 2 inches thick: Ideal for concrete paver joints, driveways, walkways, and patios.
  • Easy to use: Requires thorough paver cleaning and compaction before application.
  • Water activated: Sets in 10 minutes and is rain safe after activation.
  • Flexible before fully cured: Allows for natural movement in the joints.

Tips for Maintaining Landscaping Sand and Bark

To keep your bark and sand landscapes looking their best, follow these maintenance tips:

Bark Maintenance

- Refill Regularly: Bark mulch decomposes over time, so it’s important to add fresh mulch every year or two to maintain its effectiveness.

- Control Weeds: Keep an eye out for weeds that may penetrate the mulch layer and remove them quickly.

- Avoid Over-Mulching: Excessive mulch can lead to moisture retention issues and root rot. Stick to a 2-4 inch layer for the best results.

Sand Maintenance

- Leveling: Over time, landscape sand may shift or compact. Regularly check and re-level areas to maintain a smooth surface.

- Weed Prevention: Apply a pre-emergent weed control product to sand areas to reduce weed growth.

- Drainage Checks: Ensure that sand-based areas, especially those near landscaping structures, have proper drainage to prevent water accumulation and damage.


Bark and landscape sand are popular landscaping materials for creating beautiful and functional backyards in Utah. Their unique properties make them perfect for so many landscaping applications, from improving soil health and controlling erosion to creating safe play areas and stylish outdoor spaces. By understanding the best uses for each and how to maintain the bark and sand, you can make backyard landscaping projects that last, whether you’re working on a professional project as a contractor or a DIY landscaper in Utah.

At Kilgore Landscape Center at Asphalt Materials Inc., we offer a wide range of high-quality bark and landscaping sand products to meet your landscaping materials needs. Visit us today to see our selection of landscape products and get expert advice on transforming your Utah backyard.

Happy landscaping!


This blog post provides an in-depth look at how bark and sand can be effectively used in Utah backyards. For more tips, products, and professional advice, be sure to visit Kilgore Landscape Center or contact our knowledgeable staff.