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Winter Protection - Pine Straw

Using pine straw for garden mulch is effective for winter protection and a host of other uses

Pine Straw Mulch Benefits Pine straw mulch is lighter weight than bark mulch.

Long needle pine straw @ Southern Roots Nursery

This allows for greater percolation of water and is easy to distribute. So, is pine straw good mulch in comparison to bark mulch? Not only does it increase percolation but it creates a network of needles that help hold down erosion and protect unstable areas.

Additionally, it breaks down slower than bark materials, which means its benefits last longer. Once it does begin to compost, the nutrient content in soil increases. Pine straw mulch benefits also include improving soil tilth. Use a garden fork to mix the needles into soil to reduce compaction and aid in oxygenation.

In addition to these benefits, pine straw mulch uses abound. It is also an attractive natural ground cover around ornamental plantings. It seems to be especially good around acid-loving plants such as hydrangeas, rose, azaleas and camellias.

The recommended amount of mulch around plants is 2 to 3 inches (5-8 cm.) in regular soil and up to 5 inches (13 cm.) in dry sandy areas. Around woody plants, keep the mulch at least 3 to 6 inches (8-15 cm.) from the trunk to prevent decay. Garden beds may be entirely covered, while other plants should have the mulch 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5 cm.) away from the stems. For pine straw mulch application in containers, use 1 to 2 inches (3-5 cm.) to add a nutrient rich heating blanket for winter coverage.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Tips On Using Pine Straw For Garden Mulch


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