The Q&A Archives: Mulch Differences

Question: When should you use pine bark mulch and when should you use pine bark nuggets? Specifically, what are the differences in the different mulches on the market today?

Answer: Whatever its form, pine bark mulch begins with the same basic ingredient - pine bark. Whether you choose shredded bark mulch or chunks of pine bark depends on the purpose. Shredded mulch compacts together easily so it doesn't have to be applied as thickly as bark nuggets. It has a tendency, though, to stick to the bottoms of shoes when it's wet. If you won't be walking in the mulched area, that might not be a big consideration. Bark chunks, or nuggets, will take longer to break down, work well in high traffic areas such as footpaths, but because of the large spaces between the chunks, more will have to be applied. If mulch is not applied thickly enough to exclude light, weed seeds will germinate and weeds will emerge through the mulch. With this in mind, you can chose the color and texture of mulch material that best suits your need.

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