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Magnificent Mulch – A Gardener’s Best Friend !

NOW IS THE TIME TO BEAUTIFY AND PROTECT ORNAMENTAL BEDS

The most common organic types of mulch are pine needles; pine bark nuggets; and shredded pine, hardwood, and cypress mulch.  Additionally, hardwood mulch is available in dyed colors such as chocolate brown.  If you are one of the many homeowners in the Gastonia, North Carolina area, you may be wondering what are the benefits - in addition to good looks.

  • Mulch helps to keep the soil cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, acting as a moisture control insulator for the root structure of your plants
  • Organic mulch decays over time, adding nutrients to the soil as it breaks down, and helps to maintain an acidic pH for plant growth
  • Mulch provides a weed barrier by eliminating the sunlight needed by most weed seeds to germinate and establish seedlings

 

SO HOW DO YOU CHOOSE MULCH AND WHAT ARE OUR RECOMMENDATIONS ? 

LONG LEAF PINE NEEDLES IN GASTONIA, NC For pine needles, we recommend using long leaf pine needles that don’t have a lot of leaves, pine cones, and sticks in the bales.  We are very fortunate that we have a distributor from the Carolina Sandhills that delivers fresh and colorful long leaf pine needles to us.   Pine needles should be refreshed at least once a year.  Pine needles are typically priced by the bale for materials plus installation labor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

HARDWOOD MULCH GASTONIA NCFor mulch, we don't recommend the giant pine bark nuggets as they tend to float away during heavy rain.  The better choice of materials includes double-hammered hardwood, triple-hammered hardwood, shredded pine bark, pine bark mini-nuggets, dyed chocolate brown, and cypress mulches.  Mulch should be initially installed at a depth of 3 to 4 inches and then topdressed on an annual basis with 1½ inches of mulch.  Mulch is typically priced by the cubic yard for materials plus installation labor. 

Pine needles vs. mulch:  we think the customer should choose whichever is most aesthetically pleasing to their taste.  However, we highly recommend that beds receiving heavy leaf drop in the fall benefit more from mulch.  During leaf removal season, the mulch better resists the force from back pack blowers.

WHAT NOT TO DO ?

Avoid the purchase of “slash” pine needles.  These are 5 inches shorter, thinner, and typically have more of a darker brown color instead of brown-red.  Slash pine needles are typically purchased from the big box stores and most fundraisers.  Although less expensive, they are not as durable or attractive in color.

Avoid “mulch volcanoes” around trees.  Piling mulch around the trunk of a tree can yield a variety of problems that can eventually cause damage and even death.

INSIDER SECRETS FROM A LANDSCAPER

We apply a pre-emergent herbicide (without fertilizer) along with our granular plant food when installing seasonal flower beds.  The pre-emergent really helps to keep those weeds from sprouting for several months.  Make sure to topdress your annuals with your choice of mulch – we personally like the pine bark mini-nuggets in our custom flower beds.

Morrison Lawn & Landscape is ready to take the work off your hands and help you to prepare your landscape for the spring and summer.  If you are have interest for us to visit your Gastonia, NC property for a free consultation for lawn service and landscaping needs, contact us today at (704) 813-2545.  Click here to contact us via email.

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