The Q&A Archives: Pine Mulch Ph

Question: I have acidic soil here in North Carolina. I added pine bark mulch for weed control around a small peony plant. Is this okay? Is the pine bark mulch neutral?

Answer: Peonies do best in a soil that is closer to neutral, so you may want to run some basic soil tests and see whether or not you need to add a bit of lime to raise the pH. You will find pH tends to change gradually over time, so it's a good idea to do this periodically so you can keep the pH within an acceptable range. The pine bark will break down slowly and have only a marginal effect on the soil pH. Pine straw or needles, on the other hand, would have a stronger acidifying effect.

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