Picking vegetables straight from the garden or displaying a vase of fresh cut flowers are satisfying rewards for what can be weeks of a labor of love. Gardening, whether with vegetables, fruits, or flowers, is an age-old American tradition, yet sometimes the workload can shake even the strongest of motivations. The task of planting and sowing isn’t so bad, but add in the extra task of weeding and your gardening days become a chore. Here’s a friendly tip- adding pine mulch to your garden can help prevent weeds and reduce standing water by up to 50%! Here’s how pine mulch can help you.
In general, mulches are used to cover the soil in gardens, flower beds, and at times for high traffic areas. They help with retaining moisture, trapping heat, and it protects plant roots from temperature changes. Pine mulch is made from the shredded bark of pine trees and is often a pink or reddish brown. Pine needles are generally included in the mulch category as well. Pine mulch is naturally acidic when in composts in the soil, making it is a great choice for vegetation areas that like acid soil.
Pine mulch has become a popular choice for many landscape locations, including potted plants. Small trees and shrubs benefit from its protective layering, and walkways and paths require little raking given the coverage options of pine mulch. In a garden or areas where ponding occurs (drainage troubles create standing water), mulch can improve the flow of water through compacted clay soils. It is also used to improve locations with poor soil quality, as the breakdown of mulch will put nutrients back into the soil near plant life and their roots.
Adding layers of mulch inhibits weed growth. Weeds need light and warmth to thrive, and layering the mulch around the base of your desired plants or beds keeps out both warmth and light. Without access to sunlight, the weeds will be weak and unable to break through the layers of mulch over top of them. Having fewer weeds eliminates much of the back-straining work in the hot summer sun necessary to maintaining a thriving garden.
Plants need water to grow, but too much or too little creates havoc in your garden. Pine mulch can help. While the mulch itself can retain moisture when layered on top of the soil and irrigate the base of your plants, it can also support drainage needs. By incorporating mulch into the soil as it is tilled prior to planting, the mulch can break up soil compacted by water and creates pockets for increased absorption. Thick clay soils are too compact to absorb water well, and creating a mix of soil and mulch help to reduce standing water.
Adding mulch to your garden or using it to supplement your landscape needs is an effort that will reap long-term benefits. Reducing the amount of work pulling weeds or digging drainage trenches allows you to enjoy your plants and vegetations without exhaustion. Check out your local nursery for ways to purchase pine mulch, and watch the ways it will improve your gardening!