To Use Mulch or Pine Straw; that is the question:
Many homeowners ask themselves that very same question. Let us give you a quick pro’s and con’s list to use before you determine which option might be best for your home and garden. Small disclaimer, there are A LOT of different types of mulch. We will save that discussion for a different day. If you already have one variety of mulch or pine straw, you will first have to decide if you want to keep that same product or if you want to switch to a different kind of mulch or pine straw. Here are some points to consider:
Pros for Pine Straw:
• It’s less expensive than mulch, at least in the short run. • It’s easy to spread. • It’s easy to rearrange.
Cons for Pine Straw:
• It has to be refreshed more often than mulch. • It can add too much acid to your soil. • It can easily blow into your yard and other areas, needing frequent clean up.
Pros for Mulch:
• Provides a better moisture barrier for plants. • It can help add extra nutrients to your soil. • It stays in place longer than pine straw.
Cons for Mulch:
• It’s more expensive than pine straw. • It’s harder to spread. You may need to allot a whole morning to spreading mulch depending on your square footage. • As you began to mulch your beds, you may find that a yard of mulch doesn’t go as far as you think it would.
In the end, many people choose a combination. You can certainly have a mixture of mulch and pine straw depending on the location and type of bed. For example, if you have pine trees in your back yard and a large, natural surface area to cover, pine straw might be more economical and blend with the natural landscape. Pine straw could also work well in areas with plants that appreciate acidity, like azalea bushes.
Mulch is a great option for beds in the front of your home that you would like to keep looking fresh, with little maintenance. Again, it can also be a great insulator and nutrient provider for some of the colorful annual plants that you invest in for curb appeal.