Pine straw should be spread 3 inches deep on the ground surface.
You will receive the pine straw from us bundled in bales, the rope that holds the bale together should be removed. You should then grab handfuls and shake over the desired area so that it is distributed in a loose, fluffy manner. While this is a bit time consuming, it will achieve two very important objectives, providing a very attractive ground cover and yielding the correct square footage from each bale.
Applying the straw in a clumpy fashion will result in a much less attractive look and will cover a smaller area.
A three inch depth is needed to ensure proper looks and weed control. This will settle to 1.5 inches over time.
Both are pine straw mulch (pine needles).
- Longleaf pine straw averages 14 inches in length and is considered a premium pine needle used for landscape projects requiring the highest quality straw.
- Slash or short needle pine straw averages 9 inches in length and is used for the typical commercial or home landscape project.
Yes, pine needles and pine straw are the same thing.
Composting is controlling the natural decay of organic matter by providing the right conditions for composting critters to convert organic matter into a product that can be returned to your landscape and garden. Tiny organisms (mainly bacteria, fungi and protozoa) break down garden and landscape trimmings in a moist, aerobic (oxygen-demanding) environment. The final product is a dark, crumbly form of decomposed organic matter. Compost improves your soil. When added to soil, compost breaks up heavy clay soils, helps sandy soils retain water and nutrients, and releases essential nutrients. Compost also contains beneficial microscopic organisms that build up the soil and make nutrients available to plants. Improving your soil is the first step towards growing healthy plants.
Think of compost as a soil amendment and not as a fertilizer, since the nutrient level of compost is low and released over time. Mix compost with soil to enrich the flower and vegetable garden. It can be used to improve the soil around trees and shrubs, as a top-dressing for lawns, or as a mulch.
Choose your topsoil based on the specific application.
- Our standard topsoil is a native soil that has not been screened. It is a good choice for any economic project.
- Our screened topsoil is screened resulting in material that passes through a ¾” screen. Its organic content is superior for growing medium for all types of landscapes.
- Our organic topsoil is a native soil blended with sand and even more organic material. It is also screened to produce a product that is ¾” and smaller.
Time of application depends on what you hope to achieve by mulching. Mulches, by providing an insulating barrier between the soil and the air, moderate the soil temperature. This means that a mulched soil in the summer will be cooler than an adjacent unmulched soil; while in the winter, the mulched soil may not freeze as deeply. However, since mulch acts as an insulating layer, mulched soils tend to warm up more slowly in the spring and cool down more slowly in the fall than unmulched soils.
If you are using mulches in your vegetable garden or flower garden, it is best to apply them after the soil has warmed up in the spring. Cool, wet soils tend to slow seed germination and increase the decay of seeds and seedlings.
If adding additional layers of mulch to existing perennial beds, wait until the soil has warmed completely.
Mulches used to help moderate winter temperatures can be applied late in the fall after the ground has frozen but before the coldest temperatures arrive. Applying mulches before the ground has frozen may attract rodents looking for a warm over-wintering site. Delayed applications of mulch should prevent this problem as, hopefully, the creatures would already have found some other place to nest!
Mulches used to protect plants over winter should be loose material such as straw, hay, or pine boughs that will help insulate the plants without compacting under the weight of snow and ice. One of the benefits from winter applications of mulch is the reduction in the freezing and thawing of the soil in the late winter and early spring. These repeated cycles of freezing at night and then thawing in the warmth of the sun cause many small or shallow rooted plants to be heaved out of the soil. This leaves their root systems exposed and results in injury or death. Mulching helps prevent the rapid fluctuations in soil temperature and reduces the chances of heaving.
Anything with “bark” in the name will be at least 85% bark of the tree that is named. “bark” mulch is made from the bark that comes off hardwood trees when they are processed in a sawmill.
Hardwood mulch can be any mulch containing any kind of hardwood. It can be bark and white wood or just the white wood. Wood tends to breakdown quicker than bark. The mulch also seems to be more susceptible to insect damage than bark.
Colored mulch is usually made from ground up waste wood or pallets. It can also be made from Cypress. This wood fiber material is dyed with a colorant to create a rainbow of colors.
Mulch can be almost anything, usually organic matter, that is used to protect the soil from erosion, control weed growth, prevent the evaporation of moisture, or maintaining an even soil temperature.
When the weather gets very hot and humid, a fungus sometimes grows on top of mulch. Bright yellow to yellowish-brown in color, it can be unpleasant to look at. This fungus is not harmful and can be easily removed by raking or spraying water on the affected area.
Budgets matter. That is why we offer a less expensive mulch that is a grade below bark mulch. It is called Double Ground Mulch, which is primarily a wood mulch recommend for use around natural areas away from houses.
A second option is to use black plastic. It is a widely used cover in the nursery business. It is not the most attractive alternative, but will aid in controlling weeds, reducing watering needs, and moderating soil temperature.
A third option is to use leaves or grass clippings. If you bag your grass clippings or rake leaves in the fall, save them for placement in your beds. With leaves, you will want to shred them first and allow them to break down slightly — failing to do this will decrease the amount of water that can reach the soil. With grass clippings, you will want to let them age also — fresh grass clippings can rob other plants of nitrogen as it decomposes. Allow them to lose their green color before using them as mulch.
Before applying any type of mulch, it is best to weed the area. Spread a layer of mulching materials over the entire plant bed. Keep mulch 2 to 3 inches away from the stems of woody plants in order to prevent decay caused by excess moisture and rodent damage. Keep mulch 6 to 12 inches away from the walls of buildings.
Subterranean termites nest in the soil and feed on materials that contain cellulose. Termite treatments are applied to the soil around buildings, so keeping mulch away from walls will prevent termites from using it as a bridge to cross treated soil.
Newly planted trees require a circle of mulch 3 to 4 feet in diameter. Maintain this for at least three years taking care not to pile mulch against the trunk. For established trees, create a circle of mulch about 2 feet in diameter for each inch of trunk diameter. Increase the size of the mulched area as the tree grows, keeping the mulch at least 6 to 12 inches beyond the drip-line of the tree. Because the root system can extend to two to three times the crown spread of the tree, mulch as large an area as possible.
This depends on what kind of mulch you prefer and how fresh a landscape you want. To keep “bark” mulches looking fresh, you need to mulch once a year since they tend to break down (and enrich) the soil quicker. Colored mulches ultimately fade. To keep them looking vibrant you may need to top-dress them once a year, top dressing is the method of applying about an inch of material on top of existing material.
First, you will need to know the area (square footage) of the landscape bed that needs to be covered. To determine this, simply measure the length, and width of your area, and determine the depth you would like to mulch, use our product calculator (included on product pages) to figure out the rest.
Adding mulch to existing or new landscape beds is one of the most important things you can do foe the vitality of your yard. Acting as a natural fertilizer, mulch also provides a visually appealing enhancement to any landscape.
- Conserves moisture – reduces your dependence on irrigation
- Moderates extreme temperature – keeps soil warm in cold temperatures and cool in hot temperatures
- Controls weeds – creates a barrier between the soil and weed seeds which inhibits the germination of those seeds into weeds.
- Aerates the soil and prevents compaction
- Improves soil composition when it breaks down