Pests like termites, ants, and bees that typically target wood chips can also be found in straw. If you’re considering either one as a preferred mulch in your garden or for edging around trees, consider mixing with other materials for the best results.
Organic mulches like straw, wood chips, pine needles, and leaves can be a great way to ensure your garden looks fabulous while also acting as a weed barrier. Knowing when to apply these materials can make all the difference in keeping pests out of your home.
Straw is an excellent mulch for flower beds because it has natural anti-fungal properties which discourage the growth of fungus gnats and mold. It also holds moisture well and doesn’t retain the heat during the spring and fall months, which are problematic for growing many plants. No matter what season, you’ll love using straw as a mulch.
Wood chips could be a great way to seal cracks in your driveway or patio. However, before you start strictly adhering to wood chips as a weed barrier, make sure that the large gaps are sealed properly and everything is free of pests. Wood chips can be infested with pests like termites, ants, and carpenter bees.
Pine needles are an excellent mulch for a garden or potted plants that are permeable to water and air. You can also mix pine needles with straw to get the best of both worlds! You can use pine needles around your foundation as long as you keep them away from your windows and doors. You should beware of pests like silverfish and carpenter ants that can thrive in the damp, dark environment near your foundation.
If you’re thinking against mixing all mulches, think again! Many plants won’t be able to tolerate dry soil. Consider mixing mulches together to form soil with good drainage that also retains water. A good mixture can help extend your growing season and improve the health of your plants.