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, organic mulch is a type of organic material that’s placed over the soil such as tree bark, straw, leaves or pine needles to avoid moisture evaporation, extreme temperature changes in soil and suppress the growth of weed while also adding organic matter back to the soil to improve its structure even further.
The truth is, bark mulch as well as pine straw are the two most used forms of mulch when it comes to organic gardening. Both have its unique characteristics like for instance, bark mulch is a byproduct from trees sent to sawmill that’s cut to lumber while pine straw came from a sustainable resource from pine trees when they shed their needles 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 will of course don’t give up without a fight because whatever the bark mulch can do, it can as well such as providing protection to the root systems of the plant from sudden temperature change, partnered best with organic material for modifying the soil, has a lower pH level of soil that’s more acidic compared to bark, prevents soil erosion and at the same time, more affordable compared to bark mulch with a life spanning for 6 months.
Pine straw is basically a natural organic mulch that’s easier to disperse and lighter to handle than using bags 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.
The truth is, there is no definitive answer which is best to use, bark mulch or pine straw because at the end of the day, it will depend on someone’s requirements.