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Benefits of Pine Straw and Bark Mulch

In doing organic gardening, mulching is something you should not take for granted as this provides the insulation, nutrients and moisture needed by plants to survive. Creating a plan on how you should mulch plants in spring and fall can add nutrients and decompose back to the soil that benefits the plant to live.

Technically, organic mulch is any form of organic material that’s placed on the surface of the soil including leaves, tree bark, straw or pine needles that is intended to prevent sudden temperature changes to soil, suppress weed growth, avoid moisture to evaporate and add organic matter back to the soil which helps in improving its structure even further.

When it comes to organic gardening, two of the most used forms of mulch were actually bark and pine straw mulch. Both have its own set of characteristic like for example, bark mulch is basically a byproduct from trees sent to sawmill cut to lumber while the pine straw has came from a sustainable source from pine trees when shedding their needs in late fall.

There are other benefits for using bark mulch aside from what’s said like it protects the plant root system from unexpected changes in temperature, retain moisture and prevent moisture from evaporating, perfect for improving soil structure as this breaks down into organic matter, lowering the pH level of the soil, helps to prevent erosion, available in different colors, best when it’s applied in spring and fall, can float with heavy rains and has a year of lifespan.

Pine straw mulch will of course don’t give up without a fight because whatever the bark mulch can do, it can as well such as providing protection to the root systems of the plant from sudden temperature change, partnered best with organic material for modifying the soil, has a lower pH level of soil that’s more acidic compared to bark, prevents soil erosion and at the same time, more affordable compared to bark mulch with a life spanning for 6 months.

Basically, pine straw is a natural organic mulch which is also easier to disperse and also, lighter to handle compared to bags of bark mulch. By the time when the pine straw is in place, it does not compact much like other mulches in the market allowing it to provide better airflow to the soil, retain moisture in itself and also, the water infiltration benefits the ability of nutrients to soak better in the soil.

The truth is, there is no definitive answer which is best to use, bark mulch or pine straw because at the end of the day, it will depend on someone’s requirements.

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