People often ask me what the purposes of mulch are and which mulch to pick. In this article, I will talk about pine bark mulch and why you should use it.
What Is Mulch?
Mulch is a layer of material that is placed on top of the soil to insulate the plants and the soil. Mulch conserves the moisture of the soil, improves soil fertility and health of the soil, reduces weed growth, and is also considered a decorative element. Mulch is generally made from organic material, such as pine bark.
Pine bark mulch is made from pine tree bark; of course, sometimes spruce, evergreen, and fir bark are added as well. There are three kinds of pine bark mulch, shredded or nugget form and premium bark.
The shredded form is used for crops that are tightly spaced and are applied in layers for growing tender shoots. It prevents soil erosion, ensuring the plants’ growth.
Nugget form decomposes longer. Therefore you don’t need to replace it as often. It’s mostly used to prevent weed growth and is relatively low maintenance compared to normal grass.
Premium bark mulch is applied for plants that thrive in acidic conditions, such as roses. The premium bark mulch is made of the southern pine tree’s bark and is processed twice.
What Are the Advantages of Using Pine Bark Mulch?
Pine bark is sturdy; it remains in the garden for a lot longer, unlike other organic mulch. Other bark mulches turn gray quite quickly, but not pine bark, especially premium bark or nugget form. It is also lightweight.
Pine bark mulch:
- Retains the moisture of plants and prevents soil-borne diseases from spreading
- Provides aluminum to the soil, promoting growth
- Slowly turns soil acidic
- Brings down weed growth by preventing seeds from sprouting (a layer of 2-3 inches or 5-7.5 cm should do)
- Pine bark decomposes over time and turns into humus
Since pine bark mulch is so lightweight, it is spread around the garden by strong wind or heavy rains. It might be beneficial to have edges around the part you are using pine mulch in if your garden is susceptible to these conditions.
There you have it; now you know all about pine bark mulch, just remember to use it for plants that thrive in acidic conditions. If you want to use it for plants and prevent acidity, add cedar and hardwood mulch to the mix.