Pine straw mulch can cover your landscaping areas to inhibit weed growth, enhance your soil quality and add an attractive ground cover over bare soil. Although you have a variety of different mulch materials from which to choose, pine straw has many benefits for your soil.
As you contemplate adding pine straw to your landscape, you will need to determine whether you’re up for installing your own pine straw or whether you prefer to have an expert install it for you. If you’re not a fan of back-breaking labor that will probably take days to complete, look into finding a professional to work with your pine straw for you.
1.Benefits of Pine Straw Installation
Pine straw is the stuff dropped by pine trees throughout the year, so when you choose pine straw, you have the benefit of knowing that you’re installing a natural landscaping mulch that will improve your lawn.
Many plants, shrubs and trees benefit from the nitrogen provided by pine straw. As the pine straw slowly breaks down in the landscape, nitrogen seeps into the soil and improves soil conditions for plants. Often, plants respond with vigorous growth.
Pine straw also helps with erosion control for landscapes that receive abundant rain. The pine straw is heavy enough that it won’t wash away and it protects the soil underneath it to prevent runoff from occurring.
2.Time of Year to Install
Another benefit of pine straw involves the timing of the installation. There is no wrong time of the year to install fresh pine straw over your landscaping areas. Pine straw on your landscape offers benefits throughout the year. During the growing season, it will insulate roots and plants from hot weather and it will also conserve soil moisture. Pine straw also blocks weeds and acts as a natural weed block. During the winter, pine straw acts as a layer of insulation to protect plants and roots from harsh winter temperatures.
3.Size of Yard
The size of your yard determines the amount of pine straw you will need for adequate coverage around your landscaping. Optimal application of pine straw is 2 to 3 inches to suppress weeds and insulate the soil. To cover 200 square feet of ground at a depth of about 3 inches, you will need 24 cubic inches of pine straw applied to your landscape. If you decide to apply pine straw in a thicker layer, you will need more and if you apply less of it, you will need less material to cover the same space.
Before adding pine straw to a landscape, prepare the soil. This isn’t work for the faint-of-heart, either, so you can appreciate knowing that the expert you hire will take on the preparation work as well. Turn over the soil to aerate it. If you find weeds or undesired growth, remove it prior to installing the pine straw. After rototilling the soil, rake it lightly to make it smooth.
After installing the pine straw, the clean-up work might surprise you. Pine straw can be messy, which means that after putting it where it needs to go, the rest of your yard will need some work to restore its original condition.
The first clean-up task involves tucking the pine straw into place with a shovel. The tucking process ensures that the pine straw will stay within the borders. After tucking, the next task involves raking the straw to clean up all materials that might blow out over the grass. To complete the final touches, all remaining pine straw will be removed using a leaf blower to create a streamlined, bordered appearance.
Pine straw does require regular maintenance to keep it at the recommended depth in your landscape. Because the pine straw decomposes into the soil, the depth will diminish gradually throughout the year. You might schedule new installations of pine straw once or twice each year, depending on how quickly the pine straw breaks down. The good news is that you can lay fresh pine straw directly on the existing surface because the pine straw nearest the soil is the straw that’s actively decomposing and benefitting the soil with high amounts of nitrogen.
7.Pine Straw Installation Cost
When you hire a professional to install pine straw, the installation won’t set you back astronomically. The average cost for installation comes in at around $138. Depending on your geographical location, the size of your yard, the depth of installation and any other special situations, you can expect to pay between $54 and $356. To learn more, see Pine Straw Services Cost.
Do your soil and your landscape a favor and install pine straw as a bedding mulch. The benefits will last throughout the year to help your outdoor growing areas look their best.