Mulch. What works and what doesn't?

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  #16  
Old 02-12-2015, 12:50 AM
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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.
I stand corrected regarding cypress mulch in today's world because it has been over harvested in many areas of Florida and Louisiana. Where it primarily grows and in many of these areas, it is now protected.

I have to ask you -- why do you like pine straw? You may like it, but as a mulch it does not do the job of holding moisture in your shrub and flower beds. In warmer months you would have to water for longer periods and/or more often.
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  #17  
Old 02-12-2015, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcrazorbackfan View Post
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)?
Put an ad stating "landscape stones for free" on this forum's classified section. That's probably the only way you'll get rid of it. Also ask your neighbors.
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  #18  
Old 02-12-2015, 01:36 AM
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QUOTE=Happydaz;1010783]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.[/QUOTE]

Stones are not a mulch and shouldn't be consider as such.
Pine bark,/nuggets are not heavy but should never be installed so thick that plants can't grow through it.
Mulch will not slow the growth when plants are maintained properly.
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  #19  
Old 02-12-2015, 03:40 AM
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Any of the pine bark might look nice, but it blows all over the place in a good wind...lousy choice...
  #20  
Old 02-13-2015, 03:13 PM
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I caution against using pine straw, and I cite two examples. In 2009, a so called controlled burn got out of hand, and soon became a raging 20,000 acre wildfire. Airborne embers from this fire found their way to the Barefoot Resort in North Myrtle Beach, SC. 76 homes were destroyed, and 100 more were damaged. Fire officials announced that the "Barefoot Resort" fire was caused by hot embers igniting homeowners landscaping pine straw.
Example two, in 2013 also in Myrtle Beach, a ground fire was started by sparks from a passing train. Pine straw surrounding a condominium complex was ignited, and 26 buildings were completely destroyed. Hundreds were instantly homeless. During the 1st fire in 2009, I had embers landing in my driveway, and I was at least 5 miles from the fire.
Pine straw is a hazard!!! Mulch that stays moist I think is a better, safer choice.
  #21  
Old 02-13-2015, 03:17 PM
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I like pine straw. They use it in all of the common areas.
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  #22  
Old 02-13-2015, 03:20 PM
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I think the chance of fire is like 1 in a million.

I would still use it.

Also Myrtle beach doesn't get rain like here.

In fact I use straw & mulch in different areas. they both have great qualities.
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  #23  
Old 02-13-2015, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo2012 View Post
I think the chance of fire is like 1 in a million.

I would still use it.

Also Myrtle beach doesn't get rain like here.

In fact I use straw & mulch in different areas. they both have great qualities.
Yes you are right. Myrtle Beach has 48" of rainfall compared to our 50". I personally don't care who uses what, I was just trying to offer helpful information based on what I have seen firsthand.
  #24  
Old 02-14-2015, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graciegirl View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by graciegirl View Post
I like pine straw. They use it in all of the common areas.
Every single area, either within The Villages or commercial property owned by the developer, has pine straw. It is a requirement and the only one who can deviate from this requirement is the homeowner after closing. I am assuming the reason for its use is because it is cheap and it looks it. There is nothing about it that gives a nice classy look to landscaping.

The beautifully kept common areas are not beautiful because of pine straw. They are beautiful because of what is planted. These areas would have a much finer, cleaner look if a type of mulch was used, rather than the unkempt look of pine straw.
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Last edited by Bonanza; 02-14-2015 at 01:03 AM. Reason: correction
  #25  
Old 02-14-2015, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonanza View Post
These areas would have a much finer, cleaner look if a type of mulch was used, rather than the unkempt look of pine straw.
I think you should have prefaced your remarks with "in my opinion"
  #26  
Old 02-14-2015, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happydaz View Post
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.
Thank-you for your helpful advice.
  #27  
Old 02-14-2015, 02:43 PM
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It's ironic that in today's Daily Sun Home & Garden section on the front page, a yard with rocks in the planted beds was chosen "Landscape of the Month," while on page 6a the column by the Sumter Co. UF/IFAS lists myriad reasons not to use rock as a groundcover or "mulch."
  #28  
Old 02-14-2015, 03:14 PM
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the paper is for looks

the UF/IFAS is for the plants
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  #29  
Old 02-14-2015, 10:47 PM
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I like pine needles (straw, mulch, whatever). It reminds me of growing up in Charleston, SC -- it seems like everyone uses it there.
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  #30  
Old 02-14-2015, 11:23 PM
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In North Carolina we always had long beautiful pine needles delivered and placed on our property. We usually bought only about 150 bales at a time. The million dollar homes all had it as well and it looked gorgeous. I like the look, very natural. I guess to each his own, right?
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