Get information to help you decide whether you need pine straw or colored mulch for your HOA, residential landscaping, commercial property needs. Learn about benefits, availability, and costs for mulch and pine straw.
Mulch vs. Pine Straw for Landscaping
Pine straw and mulches used for landscaping provide a great way to spruce up your curb appeal but which one is better for Atlanta area yards? Actually, both are great for landscaping needs in the Marietta, Woodstock, Kennesaw areas. In comparison, there are overlapping factual benefits with aesthetics being the major subjective difference.
Top Reasons to Use Mulch and Pine Straw
- Conserving Water: providing a barrier to block the soil from sunlight and wind, moisture is retained longer than without such a barrier. This means your plants and flowers have more consistent access to water and you save the time and cost of watering more often.
- Weed Control: blocking the sun from the soil it is easier to mitigate weedy plants from germinating. A simple way to improve this is to lay double sheets of newspaper directly on the soil, and layer in the mulch or pine straw over the newspaper. This is a nearly foolproof method of weed prevention.
- Aesthetics: using fresh pine straw or colored mulch is an exceptional way to define your flower beds, provide an attractive collar around trees, and add a contrasting texture to your lawn’s landscaping. Additionally, black and dark brown mulches serve as a superb background color for bright flowers and bedding plants.
Most Atlanta area homes utilize shredded wood mulches because of the longer-lasting characteristics (vs. pine straw) and the ability to get dynamic, landscape-enhancing colors. Our wood mulches are environmentally friendly and the colors last much longer than what is found at most stores selling bags of mulch. Shredded wood mulch is vastly superior to pine-bark nuggets in terms of aesthetics and durability. Shredded wood mulch is ideal for use on sloping or somewhat uneven ground. A layer of 2-4″ deep can give any flower bed a nice even countour.
Common Colors of Landscape Mulch
Landscaping mulches are available in several different colors. The variations in color make it easy to find a mulch that works well with your home’s paint scheme and flower colors. Keep in mind that visually, dark colors recede and bright colors advance. This means that dark mulch may be better suited for small yards to gain a slight edge in making it look larger. Dark mulches also show up better in deeply shaded areas. The most common color choices for landscaping mulch are:
- Natural (usually Cypress or Pine)
- Red or Mahogany
- Chocolate Brown
- Black or Ebony
Landscaping Pine Straw
Pine straw bales are relatively inexpensive and very easy to work with if you are a do-it-yourself type. You can easily carry the light bales anywhere in your yard without the need for a wheelbarrow. Furthermore, unlike mulch, you do not need a rake or shovel to install pine straw. The bright copper look of fresh pine straw provides a clean, somewhat understated accent to any yard.
DIY – Where to Get Bulk Landscaping Materials
Most people need relatively large amounts of pine straw or mulch to adequately dress their yard. Obviously, the most convenient thing to do is to hire a landscaping services company to deliver and install the material. An alternative is to buy the materials directly and install them yourself. Here are your options to buy pine straw and mulch for your yard:
- Home Improvement Stores such as The Home Depot or Lowes sell bags of mulch and bales of pine straw. Their prices, by volume, are much higher than buying in bulk. Selections of colored mulch may be limited, and pine straw may not be very fresh. An added complication is that without a truck you will need to make numerous trips to acquire the volume you need and have a messy vehicle to clean-up.
- Bulk Landscape Supply Companies offer great prices and selection. Because of the rapid turnover of materials, you are almost assured to receive fresh pine straw and non-faded, richly colored mulches. Most any landscape supply business in Marietta can arrange for local delivery. Although most landscape supply companies have minimum order requirements the needs of the average homeowner exceed such requirements.