Benefits of Pine Straw Mulch

Pine straw has been a popular landscape ground cover throughout the South for the past 25 years. It is one of the most widely used mulches for all size projects from residential flowerbeds to industrial complexes and highway landscapes. Longleaf Pine Straw is an asthetically appealling reddish/brown mulch that can be used in a variety of landscapes to enhance the texture, color,  contrast, weed-deterrent capabilities and uniqueness of your landscaping. The fine texture and uniform color of pine straw is more aesthetically pleasing to some people than traditional wood bark mulch.

Mulches act as a catalyst in creating favorable growing conditions for plants.  In other words, Pine Straw helps create the necessary environment to stimulate healthy plant development. Pine Straw promotes uniform plant growth and slowly decomposes to release organic nutrients that enrich the soil.  Insulation is a key Pine Straw characteristic, and as a result, a plant's root system and the lower stems of plants stay cooler in warm weather and remain warmer in colder weather.  A layer of Pine Straw helps keeps the roots of tender plants from freezing. 

Pine Straw interlocks and holds together during hard rains and heavy winds, even on sloping landscapes. Because Pine Straw interlocks, pine straw will not wash out of beds like other mulches.  Whereas many mulches do not allow water to runoff (rain and/or irrigation), pine straw allows water to flow through it to the soil underneath. The same quality by which pine straw allows for water to flow through it also helps to conserve soil moisture by reducing water evaporation rates and moisture loss. Pine straw also has the added benefit of reducing erosion caused by wind and rain-splash impact and adhering well to slopes; thus, not washing away as easily as other mulches during heavy rain.

Pine needle mulch (pine straw) is the number one mulching material used in landscape plantings in the Southeastern U.S. Because pine straw is actually a leaf (needle), it benefits the environment in the same way that decomposing leaves benefit the forest floor, by recycling nutrients and maintaining soil organic matter in a compost-like fashion. NO Trees are destroyed in the process of harvesting pine needles. The carbon footprint for harvesting pine needles vs. other mulches is very low. The majority of pine needle harvesting is done so by hand by manually using a rake. The pine straw is raked into piles, and then placed into a wooden box for baling. 

 

How to buy Pine Straw:

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We sell only premium Longleaf Pine Straw Mulch. Oftentimes, pine straw types are misconstrued by the consumer and misrepresented by the seller. Inferior pine straw mulch is often referred to as “Slash” or “Long needle” and is often misrepresented as “Longleaf”.  Watch for the wording ‘long needle’ –long needle is NOT the same as Longleaf. If you ask a seller, “What type of pine straw do you sell?” and the answer is “I don’t know” or “It’s Pine Straw”, this is a red flag and you should be concerned as you may be getting an inferior product.

There is no set industry standard for pine straw bale size. The dimensions and weight of the bale are the most important attributes to consider. Do not rely on the square footage claim the company makes as this will vary greatly depending on the depth at which the pine straw is installed.  If you compare two bales, equal in size, one supplier may claim their bale covers a larger square footage than another bale of equal size and yet they cover the same area but at a varied depth. These two bales will, in fact, cover the same square footage if installed at equal depths. Some companies tend to exaggerate their square footage claims (by spreading the pine straw thinner over a wider area) in order to make their product look cheaper in price.

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