Mulch solves so many problems it ranks pretty high on a gardener's list of best friends. Mulch controls weeds, keeps soil moist, and prevents erosion and runoff.
Organic mulches enrich the soil when they decompose, adding nutrients and improving soil structure. A blanket of mulch maintains even soil temperature, which promotes
healthy plant growth. In winter in colder climates, for example, mulch keeps the soil from the freezing and thawing that disturbs root systems. Mulch also makes a
garden look good, giving beds a consistent and finished appearance.
When used correctly, mulches conserve soil moisture. They keep soil cooler in summer and warmer in winter, maintaining steadier soil temperature. Mulches also prevent
soil "splashing," or spreading soil-borne diseases or contaminants onto vegetation or produce via water drops. They reduce weed growth too, and help prevent soil
compaction. Organic mulches decay into the topsoil, adding nutrients and improving soil structure. Mulched plants produce more roots, which enhances their health.
Pine Needle Mulch
A two to three inch layer of pine needles makes an excellent organic mulch. Pine needles are lightweight and pack loosely, yet they "interlock" and hold better
than most mulches....especially on slopes. Air as well as water and nutrients easily penetrate pine straw mulch, but because it breaks down slowly it doesn't
need frequent replacement. Using pine needles as mulch is also sustainable, and usually organic; no trees are harvested to produce it. Pine straw mulch doesn't
attract pests or termites. It's useful for any plants that do well when mulched, not just acid-loving plants.
When to Apply?
The best time to apply mulch depends on what you are growing and your purpose for mulching. For flower or vegetable gardens it's best to wait until the
ground warms up; otherwise the mulch will keep the soil temperature low and inhibit plant growth. Wait until seedlings are a couple of inches tall before
mulching around them. If you want to keep soil temperature from fluctuating during the winter, apply mulch after the ground freezes.
Contact us with any questions about mulching ... 828.234.8982 ... firstname.lastname@example.org