In a few days, we are going to be getting another frost here in the Galivants Ferry area. Mother Nature has been dropping fresh pine needles for about 2 weeks in this area in preparation for the frost. [Pine straw is considered an organic mulch. To find the best quality needles, I suggest getting a local homeowner who has a lot of pine trees to give you his / her pine needles if you will rake the needles for them. We at SB Mulch, Inc. stopped our sale of bulk pine needles about 2 years ago because of quality and availability issues. Again, the best quality needles are going to come from locals who have fresh-fallen needles in their yards. Do you have a high-schooler who needs some after-school responsibility? Give them a rake and tell them to go to homes with lots of pine trees in the yards! They could make some money for raking the needles, plus there is a chance they could sell off the pine straw to a homeowner who wants the freshest possible pine straw.]
Anyway, mulching your plants and trees NOW before the coming frosts acts as a blanket for your living plants and trees. At this time of year, mulch:
- insulates the ground / dirt / soil
- protects roots of plants and trees that could still be "hardening" off
- prevents loss of water by evaporation from the soil
Newly installed plant material is the most vulnerable at this time of year. Have you put down any new shrubs or trees since the Spring? You may want to consider mulching.
Here are a few things to consider if you choose to mulch in the Fall:
- Use caution when mulching around a tree trunk, leave some open area around the trunk. Don't build a "mulch triangle" at the bottom of the tree trunk. Instead, aim to create a sort of "mulch bowl" around the base of the tree.
- Give your plants a good watering BEFORE you mulch. Then be sure to winterize your hoses and watering equipment so that a frost will not burst your equipment beyond repair.
- Do not give in to the urge to over-mulch. Too much of a good thing is possible when it comes to mulching around plants and trees. 4" is a gracious plenty.
- Mulching with a good layer of mulch NOW could prevent spring weeds from wreaking havoc in your landscape come the Spring of 2015.
If you have any questions about mulching, please give us a call at 843-358-2574. Are you ready for the winter season? It is coming quickly now that we are out of October!