Pine straw is the most widely used mulch in North Georgia. The pine straw is harvested from tree farms in Georgia and neighboring states then baled and shipped to retailers and landscapers across the South Eastern United States. Other byproducts of the forestry industry such as pine bark, hardwood bark, cypress, and dyed wood are also utilized as mulch in our area. These bark and wood products can be purchased in bags or in bulk quantities. In most cases the labor cost for installation are less for bagged mulch.
Each of these organic mulches has advantages but also a down side. Some stay in place better during heavy rain, some float, others last longer before another application is needed, some work well for foot traffic, and some catch fire easily.
Mulching offers many benefits to our landscapes. An application of mulch not only enhances your landscape’s appearance it also provides a healthy environment for plants by retaining soil moisture, moderating changes in soil temperature, preventing erosion and weed suppression.
A landscape practice that often occurs along with mulching is defining the perimeter of planting beds with a trenching machine or shovel. This trenching provides a crisp definition between mulch areas and adjoining turf or pavement. Trenching serves to retain mulch and gives mulched areas a manicured appearance.
You may have seen plastic used as a weed barrier underneath mulch to prevent weeds. Plastic can be used successfully in home and commercial vegetable production, but is almost always not appropriate for a landscape. Plastic does not allow oxygen to reach plant roots and weeds can eventually grow on top of the plastic as the mulch breaks down.
Creek pebbles, lava rock, and brick chips are sometimes used as mulch. These products do last a long time but once contaminated with leaves and grass clippings it is an expensive process to clean and or replace this mulch. Other disadvantages are that they can reflect heat onto the plant, raise soil temperatures, and can become dangerous projectiles if picked up by a lawn mower.
Now that you have learned about the advantages of and benefits of using mulch in your landscape, you can get started with your landscaping project.
The professionals at Landscape Management Company are experienced in landscape maintenance, design and turf care amongst many other things. Contact us today to speak to one of our landscaping experts!