For plants to survive, it needs proper insulation, nutrients and moisture that it can get from mulching, which is why this is a vital process for doing organic gardening. Creating a plan on how you should mulch plants in spring and fall can add nutrients and decompose back to the soil that benefits the plant to live.
Technically speaking, organic mulch is any kind of organic material placed over the soil similar to straw, tree bark, leaves or even pine needles in order to prevent moisture to evaporate, extreme temperature changes in the soil and suppressing weed growth while adding organic matter back to the soil to further improve its structure.
When it comes to organic gardening, two of the most used forms of mulch were actually bark and pine straw mulch. Both have its own set of characteristic like for example, bark mulch is basically a byproduct from trees sent to sawmill cut to lumber while the pine straw has came from a sustainable source from pine trees when shedding their needs in late fall.
There are other benefits for using bark mulch aside from what’s said like it protects the plant root system from unexpected changes in temperature, retain moisture and prevent moisture from evaporating, perfect for improving soil structure as this breaks down into organic matter, lowering the pH level of the soil, helps to prevent erosion, available in different colors, best when it’s applied in spring and fall, can float with heavy rains and has a year of lifespan.
Pine straw mulch of course has its own secrets, it can protect root systems of the plant from changes in the temperature like from hot to cold and vice versa, it’s best partnered with organic material for soil modification, has a slightly lower pH level that’s more acidic than bark mulch, helps in preventing soil erosion and also, it’s more economical compared to bark mulch with a lifespan of roughly 6 months.
As a matter of fact, pine straw is a natural organic mulch that is lighter and easier to disperse than a bag of bark mulch. So when the pine straw is set in place, it does not compact compared to other mulches that you can buy in the market nowadays, allowing it to deliver better airflow to the soil, keep moisture in itself and water infiltration that benefits the soil to soak nutrients a lot better.
Basically, the answer whether to use pine straw or bark mulch lies to personal preferences as each option is best in their own rights.