Gardening Cents - Mulch

For the past several weeks now we've given you tips to help you rejuvenate your yard. This week, we put the finishing touches on our yard make over.

Today, we're going to replace the mulch. We have three different kinds from which to choose. Vanessa brought in three so we could pick our favorite. The first option is pine bark, the big pine bark nuggets, but Vanessa was concerned that where the down spouts come off the house, the bark might wash away. But if you don't have that problem, pine bark nuggets can be a good choice.

The second option was shredded cypress bark. This bark, which comes from Florida, is a nice bark with a little bit different look. The third choice and our favorite was pine straw. Vanessa says it makes a great mulch that breaks down well. When you need more, you just add fresh pine straw on top of the old.

Vanessa says not only will mulch make your yard more attractive, it also is very beneficial to your plants. "The reasons we want to mulch are to keep out weeds, to help conserve soil moisture when we don't have rain, to even out the soil temperature in the summer when it gets so hot and in the winter when it's freezing."

Mulch also helps you save time and money. Instead of putting plastic down under the mulch, Vanessa says a thick layer of mulch should be all you need. "I like to just make sure I put my mulch two to three or a maximum of four inches thick. If you do this, you should not have weeds popping up through that once you get the bed just right."

If you haven't laid down mulch yet, your not too late. Spring is the perfect time to start. The average cost of a bag of pine straw is anywhere from $3-$5 a bag.  For a 5'x5' area, you can figure you'll need one bage of straw.

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