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Pine Straw Vs. Mulch

Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Photos by Micky

Selecting the appropriate type of mulch not only adds a finishing touch to a garden or path, it also controls weeds, regulates soil temperature and helps maintain the condition of the soil.

Types

Mulch varieties consist of pine straw, grass clippings and leaves, the outer layer of bark removed and processed into shredded mulch and wood chips.

Function

Pine straw and mulch placed around flowers, trees or vegetables help retain moisture in the soil needed for healthy root growth. A solid covering of mulch insulates the soil and prevents erosion by keeping the soil in place.

Considerations

Mulch may be processed and sold as a premium grade covering containing only all natural wood and bark products. Less expensive brands may be blended with bits of wood products, such as recycled pallets, used as a filler.

Size and Color

Shredded and chipped mulch comes pre-packaged and in bulk in its natural wood color or a choice of colors using a non-toxic dye. Pine straw in its natural state is light brown and bundled in bales of varying weight.

Benefits

Pine straw and organic mulch breaking down over time adds nutrients and keeps the soil pliant. Mulch provides good air circulation and allows easy saturation of water. Pine straw has a higher acidic level than wood mulch making it a good choice for plants and vegetables requiring acidic soil.

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