How to keep pine straw looking fresh
Pine straw is an excellent choice for mulch. It helps retain moisture, adds a beautiful color and texture, and helps repel insects. Let’s see how to use pine straw mulch and what you can expect.
How Do You Keep Pine Straw Fluffy?
When pine straw is first laid down, it has a fluffy texture that many homeowners prefer. The problem is that it tends to form a thick mat and lose its lofty texture over time. When installing pine straw, make sure to spread an even blanket over the entire bed and about 6 inches out from the edge of the bed. You can then use a leaf blower and blow the pine straw on the edges underneath the edge of the bed.
Using a leaf blower in this way will give it a nice, fluffy texture. Once the pine straw has flattened into a mat, all you need to do is to apply another layer on top and use the leaf blower to fluff it up. When pine straw first arrives, it is compressed, and you need to make sure to fluff it with your hands as you spread it.
How Long Does Pine Straw Keep Its Color?
Depending on the species, natural pine straw ranges from gray to dark brown. Several factors can influence how long it retains its color. For one, high moisture and high sunlight conditions can cause it to fade more quickly.
Also, the type of pine affects how long the color will last. Longleaf pine straw and other pine species that contain a lot of resin will hold their color longer than low-resin varieties.
Natural pine straw comes in gray and brown, but now, some home improvement centers offer colored pine straw dyed red, black, and other shades of brown. It is dyed to match the same colors as traditional hardwood mulch.
You can also purchase commercial dyes that will allow you to change or refresh the color of your pine straw, but you need to beware of chemicals that might harm your plants with these products. The best part is that you have many choices for pine straw, and you can use it to create the right look for your home.
How Do You Care for Pine Straw?
One of the best parts about pine straw is low maintenance. If it begins to look dull or matted, you can apply a fresh layer any time of the year. Unlike other types of mulch, you do not need to remove the old layer when you put a new one down. You might need to refresh it throughout the season if it begins to look flat and you want to retain its fluffy look. Other than that, pine straw is a carefree choice for your landscape.
How Long Does It Take for Pine Straw to Deteriorate?
Depending on the type of pine straw and how thick you apply it, you can expect pine straw mulch to last between one and five years. That is the time it takes for the mulch to completely compost, but before that time, it will probably begin to look dull and break down just like any other mulch.
Settling typically occurs in the first year for any mulch that you apply. Pine straw starts fluffier than other mulches, so the settling is more noticeable.
Pine straw is easy and quick to apply, so if it begins to look as if it has settled, it is easy to give it a quick refresh any time of the year. Exposure to heavy rain and wind makes pine straw settle more quickly. Longleaf pine straw tends to settle and deteriorate more slowly than shorter needled varieties like Loblolly or Slash pine.
Pine straw mulch is an excellent choice because it is low cost and easy to maintain. You might need to give it a slight refresh or fluff several times throughout the season, but it is not as expensive as hardwood mulch. It is long-lasting and provides excellent moisture retention and insulation properties for your beds. The fluffiness gives it a unique look, and it provides a uniform color that is perfect for many landscape designs.