Mulch Uses and Types

Mulch is a commonly used in many different landscaping projects, both as decoration and as an insulator. While most people will think of wood chips as mulch, there are many different types of wood mulch, each of which are used for different purposes. Knowing the difference can help you choose the right mulch for your next gardening or landscaping project.

Types of Wood Mulch

Different varieties of wood are used in mulches, each with their own uses. Mulch breaks down over time, so using a mulch that will release the right nutrients into the soil is important. Also, some mulches will decay faster, which is not always preferable.  Here are a few of the more popular mulch types and how they are often used: 

  • Pine bark mulch. Typically, the quickest-decaying mulches are those made from pine bark. Since it will break down quickly, it is best used around trees or plants which do best with an acid rich soil.
  • Red oak mulch. Red oak mulch will last longer than pine bark before it begins to decay. Many people prefer the natural color of the red oak.
  • Cypress mulch. For playgrounds and other walking areas, cypress mulch is used due to its ability to repel mud and insects.
  • Dyed mulches. For aesthetic appeal, many people prefer dyed mulches to accent their gardens and yards. Dyed mulches also break down slower than both pine and red oak mulches. 

To ensure you get the best mulch for whatever project you are undertaking, consult with your local landscape supplier. They can advise you about which mulch will work best for your needs, and give you pointers on how to apply it.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Getting The Most From Your Mulch

Do you know when to mulch, what type to use and how much is needed for your landscaping projects? Mulch is used to retain moisture and nutrients in the soil while preventing weed growth. While mulch is made from a variety of organic materials such as grass, leaves and even paper, one of the most useful and aesthetically pleasing is tree or bark mulch. However, there is a right way to apply mulch, along with benefits to using certain types of bark mulches for different projects. 

Choosing Your Mulch

Mulch can be made from any type of tree, but there are certain types that are more popular to use for mulch. Hardwood trees are often ground to become mulch, with some mulches containing a variety of different types of trees while others are made from a specific tree or bark. Some specific uses for mulch may require buying the right blend for your needs. 

  • Playgrounds. Mulch is often used for playgrounds at schools, parks and daycare facilities. In some states, mulch must meet certain certifications to be used in play areas. Cypress mulch is often an excellent choice for these areas as it does not break down as quickly, making it excellent for reducing mud.
  • Trees. To protects roots, reduce weeds and retain moisture around trees and shrubs, pine bark mulch is often an excellent choice. Usually 2” of mulch replaced annually will be sufficient to keep trees and shrub bases protected.
  • Aesthetics. If you are using mulch to as an aesthetic enhancer to your yard more than to create topsoil, dyed mulches are a great choice. These mulches are often made from hardwood and dyed a variety of colors to compliment your yard. 

To ensure you get the right mulch in the right amount, talk to your local landscape supply store. They can help you choose the best mulch for your project, as well as give you tips on how to maintain it over the years.

Posted on behalf of Clayton Hulen, Green Brothers Earth Works


Mulching Matters: The Power of Pine

Mulching is a proven method for protecting and enriching the soil in your garden beds or around individual plants. Organic mulches are a popular choice for landscapers because they are readily available, easy to apply and more economical than non-organic mulches.

Pine mulch is one commonly used type of organic mulch. For this type of mulch, there is the option of using either pine straw or pine nuggets. Pine straw consists of weathered pine tree needles and is excellent for providing dense coverage and thwarting the growth of weeds. Pine straw mulch is not easily washed away by rain and requires yearly reapplication to remain effective. An appealing aspect of pine straw mulch is the look of the material; the rust colored needles are an attractive detail in garden beds and can enhance the overall aesthetics of any landscape.

Pine nuggets are chunks of pine tree bark. Compared to pine straw, this darker colored mulch provides looser coverage and can last for several years before a new application is needed. On the other hand, pine nuggets are more susceptible to erosion and you may find some mulch is washed away by rain water. Altogether, pine nuggets are a good choice in drier climate conditions where a more permanent mulching solution is desired.

These differences aside, both pine straw and pine nugget mulches provide all the benefits of organic mulches. Organic materials spread around the base of a plant decompose over time, discharging soil-enhancing nutrients and encouraging the growth of soil-friendly microorganisms. Organic mulches also promote healthy plant growth by keeping the soil aerated and protecting it from moisture loss and erosion. They insulate soil against adverse temperatures, reduce weed growth and keep soilborne diseases at bay. Additionally, because mulches clear the area around plants, they almost negate the likelihood of accidentally damaging foliage during mowing or trimming.

By choosing the right pine mulch for your gardening needs you can reap the benefits of mulching today!