Mulch is a combination of leaves, organic matter and loose earth that is spread on the ground around trees or plants. Pine straw is naturally shredded needles from pine trees.
Functions of Mulch
Mulch provides protection for roots from the heat or cold temperatures, prevents evaporation of moisture from the soil and decays and enriches the soil itself. When mulch is used in the garden, less fertilizer is required due to the breakdown of mulch components, which act as nutrients.
Functions of Pine Straw
Pine straw can be used as a mulch. It is low acid, which means it can be used in any type of garden setting. Pine straw functions best when used in combination with other organic material.
Mulch is better for keeping a garden weed free. Pine straw alone has a tendency to attract rodents, especially in the winter months. Mulch is more attractive than pine straw and lasts longer than pine straw. Mulch lasts a good year, whereas pine straw only lasts up to six months.