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Published on Aug 15, 2008
Mulching is an essential part of good garden practices. And if you've ever done any landscaping around your home, you know that a generous layer of mulch around your plants can give your garden a nice finished look. But it's about a lot more than just looks. Mulch is very functional. It can keep moisture in and weeds out. And with the fall and winter ahead, it can offer your plants some measure of protection. I've actually brought things through that weren't regarded as cold hardy by putting an extra layer of mulch on them. Now there is a whole range of mulches to choose from - various kinds of straws, wood chips, even newspapers. But what I like to use in my flowerbeds is a ground up pine bark. I like it because it looks natural in my garden. And while eventually it will decompose and work itself into the soil, because it's a bark, it's very durable. Let me explain what I mean by this. You see, the outer covering or bark of a tree acts as a protective layer. It's actually waterproof and it's made waterproof by waxes and suberant, which don't exist in the core of the tree. So it just makes sense that bark products will be longer lasting in your flowerbed. The longevity of bark as a mulch has actually been studied and found that it only decomposed by about thirty percent having been on the ground for up to two years. Of course the larger the chip, the longer it lasts. If you're looking for something very long lasting, you might give bark a try. From the garden, I'm Allen Smith. Copyright: 1997 P. Allen Smith Gardens Hortus LTD.