Mulch. What works and what doesn't?

» Site Navigation
Home Page The Villages Maps The Villages Activities The Villages Clubs The Villages Book Healthcare Rentals Real Estate Section Classified Section The Villages Directory Home Improvement Site Guidelines Advertising Info Register Now Video Tutorials Frequently Asked Questions
» Newsletter Signup
» Premium Tower
» Advertisements
» Trending News
» Tower Sponsors




















» Premium Sponsors
» Banner Sponsors
» Advertisements
Closed Thread
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 02-11-2015, 01:13 PM
CraigP CraigP is offline
Member
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 35
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Mulch. What works and what doesn't?

We are new to the villages and live south. Like most, our house was surrounded with what I believe is pine needle mulch(?). I guess is is what most new homes come with from the builder. We have been told by pest people that this is a haven for certain types of roaches and that we are much better off with rock, other types of mulch (including rubber). Do other agree? What have people had the most success with as far as an alternative to what we have and who would be a good vendor to provide it.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Craig
  #2  
Old 02-11-2015, 01:23 PM
jimbo2012's Avatar
jimbo2012 jimbo2012 is offline
Sage
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: LI, NY >Fernandina South
Posts: 7,180
Thanks: 67
Thanked 105 Times in 63 Posts
Default

Pine straw is good, pine chips are better, you want something that breaks down and benefits the soil or roots of the plants, it also hold moisture.

Talk to folks at the plant clinic they will say the same, they will also recommend strongly against rocks because they add nothing.

As far as pests, I don't see them as an issue, maybe the the people just don't want do a little extra spraying.

I spray once a month along the foundation perimeter except in the cold months a gallon of spray lasts a long time for $12


If you put the pine straw in bags I'll pick it, I can use it in one area
__________________
Nova Water filters | Solar Lithium golf cart upgrades
  #3  
Old 02-11-2015, 03:20 PM
TunaFish TunaFish is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 104
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

It depends on what you like. I have used cypress mulch and also mini pine bark. I don't like the straw or rocks.
  #4  
Old 02-11-2015, 03:23 PM
Bonanza's Avatar
Bonanza Bonanza is offline
Platinum member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,985
Thanks: 0
Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigP View Post
We are new to the villages and live south. Like most, our house was surrounded with what I believe is pine needle mulch(?). I guess is is what most new homes come with from the builder. We have been told by pest people that this is a haven for certain types of roaches and that we are much better off with rock, other types of mulch (including rubber). Do other agree? What have people had the most success with as far as an alternative to what we have and who would be a good vendor to provide it.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Craig

Yes, the developer only puts in pine needles and they glorify it by calling it "pine straw." It is cheaper than any other type of mulch, and I even hesitate to call it mulch because it is so airy and doesn't provide protection from the heat/sun or cold. My personal opinion is that it is sloppy looking and does nothing to enhance anyone's landscaping. It also has to be spread more often because it disintegrates quickly.

The best mulch you could possibly use is cypress followed by melaleuca but they are difficult to find in this area. The great thing about cypress is that in a heavy rain, it does not float away; it stays in place. Pine nuggets and/or bark are also good choices mulch.

Stones and rubber add nothing to our sandy and clay "soil" (I hesitate to use that word!), and while stones can look nice and many homes have them, you run the risk of possibly frying your plants and shrubs. After some years the stones sink and become embedded in the dirt and you either have to add to them or remove them and start all over. Rubber is probably the worst thing you could use because it floats away in the rain and becomes a mess. When rubber mulch becomes embedded in your grass . . . forget it!

You will get opinions from others mentioning the benefits of stones and rubber, but the fact of the matter is they may look good, but that is the extent of it; there is no benefit. Neither stones nor rubber are eco friendly and are not mulch!
__________________
A Promise Made is a Debt Unpaid
~~ Robert W. Service ~~
  #5  
Old 02-11-2015, 05:00 PM
juneroses juneroses is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 340
Thanks: 0
Thanked 36 Times in 7 Posts
Default

Cypress isn't considered Florida-friendly because it's harvested by destroying desirable trees growing in our wetlands.

Melaleuca also grows in the wetlands but is an Australian native and considered invasive here. Cutting it down and chipping it so it can be used as a mulch is considered a positive for the ecosystem.

I personally like and use pine straw.
__________________
The Villages via Cincinnati, Ohio
  #6  
Old 02-11-2015, 05:09 PM
graciegirl's Avatar
graciegirl graciegirl is offline
Sage
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 39,419
Thanks: 4,200
Thanked 4,700 Times in 1,612 Posts
Send a message via AIM to graciegirl
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by juneroses View Post
Cypress isn't considered Florida-friendly because it's harvested by destroying desirable trees growing in our wetlands.

Melaleuca also grows in the wetlands but is an Australian native and considered invasive here. Cutting it down and chipping it so it can be used as a mulch is considered a positive for the ecosystem.

I personally like and use pine straw.
The landscapers are trying to sell you stone or rubber.

I like pine straw. All of the beautifully kept common areas have pine straw, but you must keep an adequate layer to keep out weeds.
__________________
It is better to laugh than to cry.
  #7  
Old 02-11-2015, 05:15 PM
rjm1cc's Avatar
rjm1cc rjm1cc is offline
Soaring Eagle member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,054
Thanks: 93
Thanked 269 Times in 105 Posts
Default

Pine back seems to work. But only 1 1/2 years-experience
Skip the needles as it will require annual maintenance.
  #8  
Old 02-11-2015, 05:57 PM
Happydaz Happydaz is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Pinellas
Posts: 371
Thanks: 0
Thanked 32 Times in 16 Posts
Default

Rubber mulch has no place in the landscape. Rocks may look nice, initially, but years down the road the weeds become a problem as wind borne dirt settles around the rocks and the weeds get a foothold. Rock mulch belongs in the desert areas of Arizona and Nevada where you are growing cacti and succulents that love rocks, heat, and a bone dry surface. Having rocks as a mulch in Florida looks out of place, in my opinion. Natural bark mulches are very good and pine straw is a good choice as well. All of these break down and add nutrients to the soil. The fact that you don't have all that landscape fabric like rocks do means fertilizer and water moves through the naturally mulched surface with ease. I like pine straw as I am a gardener who plants many smaller flowers and plants that do well with the lighter coverage of the pine straw. Heavy bark mulches interfere with the growth of these smaller plants. Bark mulch takes some of the nitrogen out of the soil as it breaks down and can slow the growth of the smaller plants. "Florida Friendly" mulches are natural bark and pine straw mulch. As mentioned already Melaleuca mulch is preferred over cypress as it is an invasive plant, whereas the cypress is native and a desirable tree growing in our wetlands.
  #9  
Old 02-11-2015, 07:03 PM
obxgal's Avatar
obxgal obxgal is offline
Gold member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: The Villages
Posts: 1,136
Thanks: 107
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Default

If you go down to the new Antrim Dells courtyard villas in Brownwood, you will see that The Villages are now using stones in front of the villas.
__________________
North of Pgh and OBX
  #10  
Old 02-11-2015, 07:11 PM
billethkid's Avatar
billethkid billethkid is offline
Sage
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 17,558
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3,225 Times in 910 Posts
Default

the less grass the better.... we are all trying to have a lush lawn like the one back home....but we need to be reminded we are essentially trying to grow grass on a sand dune!
__________________
"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it"...Mark Twain
  #11  
Old 02-11-2015, 07:52 PM
tomwed tomwed is offline
Sage
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 9,980
Thanks: 0
Thanked 158 Times in 153 Posts
Default

Where do you buy pine straw?
How much does it cost per bale? [if that's what it's called]
How many square feet does a bale cover?
  #12  
Old 02-11-2015, 07:59 PM
kcrazorbackfan's Avatar
kcrazorbackfan kcrazorbackfan is offline
Sage
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: The Villages, FL
Posts: 3,040
Thanks: 136
Thanked 1,020 Times in 311 Posts
Default

I don't like the rock I've got in my landscaping; how does one get rid of the removed rock (removing it myself and not hiring a landscape company)?
__________________
For each of us, life is a journey. Where has your life taken you? Your entire life leads to the next step, the chance to define yourself by where you're headed, instead of where you stand. Today is the day you introduce yourself to your destiny.
  #13  
Old 02-11-2015, 09:05 PM
jimbo2012's Avatar
jimbo2012 jimbo2012 is offline
Sage
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: LI, NY >Fernandina South
Posts: 7,180
Thanks: 67
Thanked 105 Times in 63 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by juneroses View Post
Cypress isn't considered Florida-friendly because it's harvested by destroying desirable trees growing in our wetlands.
Are you sure about that because cypress is harvested for its wood as a regular renewable resource here.

When I've been to two mills here they have huge piles of mulch to sell.

Looks FL friendly???
__________________
Nova Water filters | Solar Lithium golf cart upgrades
  #14  
Old 02-11-2015, 09:41 PM
Happydaz Happydaz is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Pinellas
Posts: 371
Thanks: 0
Thanked 32 Times in 16 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomwed View Post
Where do you buy pine straw?
How much does it cost per bale? [if that's what i called]
How many square feet does a bale cover?
You can get pine straw at Home Depot and probably Lowes. Some landscape companies will deliver pine straw. Google pine straw in The Villages and you should get some contacts. Price per bale is around $5. Coverage depends on how much is on there before you add any more. You should stir up the old mulch with a fork or garden rake as sometimes it can get a little moldy. Just stir it up to get it aerated before adding new pine straw. I have a huge garden on a corner lot with large beds in the lawn as well as around the house and I order 20 bales. They aren't that big. If you get high quality pine straw it looks nice when added into your beds. I fold handfuls under the small flowers and plants, being careful to not put any near the stems. I also do the same for the shrubs and trees. It looks great to me when it is finished. I use a lot of ground covers, flowers, and shrubs under my palm trees so it has a more natural appearance than the rocked beds with plants spaced every two or three feet looking like they were planted by humans in a line up of "toy soldiers." Properly planted, the pine straw doesn't even become much of a factor as all you see are ground covers, flowers, bushy shrubs, and trees.
  #15  
Old 02-11-2015, 09:49 PM
jimbo2012's Avatar
jimbo2012 jimbo2012 is offline
Sage
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: LI, NY >Fernandina South
Posts: 7,180
Thanks: 67
Thanked 105 Times in 63 Posts
Default

try

Browne Distributors
Address: 2600 U.S. Highway 441, Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Phone352) 326-8461

they sell pine straw & 3 size grades of pine barks mulch, the smaller mulch breaks down quicker to benefit the soil.

they also deliver
__________________
Nova Water filters | Solar Lithium golf cart upgrades
Closed Thread
Thread Tools

You are viewing a new design of the TOTV site. Click here to revert to the old version.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:09 AM.