Traditional Mulch Vs. Pine Straw: Which Should You Choose?

Should You Go With Mulch or Pine Straw?

As a homeowner or property manager, there are a million different decisions to make when it comes to landscaping. Between flower gardens, tree lines, and landscape installations, the finer details like soil and mulch might feel like unimportant choices to make. While easy to ignore, details like what goes into your soil are anything but small. If your landscape doesn’t have a healthy foundation, there is little chance that it will foster the kind of growth necessary to create a beautiful landscape. Don’t leave these crucial details up to chance. Make the right choice when it comes to soil health and opt for the mulch that’s perfect for your soil. If you’re lost deciding between a traditional mulch or pine straw, here’s everything you need to know to make an informed choice. 

What to Consider in Choosing Mulch or Pine Straw


Cost is one of the first factors to take into account when weighing your mulch options is cost. Mulch tends to cover large areas, so it may be a larger investment than some of your other landscaping project materials. As many landscaping professionals can attest, traditional mulch is typically the more expensive option of the two. Particularly if you are attempting to cover a large area (and don’t have a large budget to match), you may find that pine straw is a more prudent choice. On the whole, if what you’re looking for is a cheap option, pine straw is a quick, easy solution.

Maintenance Level 

When it comes to a low-maintenance solution for mulch, it’s not quite as apparent which choice is the simplest of the two. In terms of installation, traditional mulch is a bit more cumbersome and labor-intensive. However, while installing pine mulch may be easier, maintaining it over time is a bit trickier. Pine mulch does not stay in place nearly as well as traditional mulch can, which can be problematic after a heavy rainfall or windy storm. In this case, pine straw needs to be replaced more regularly, which might even mean that it costs more than traditional mulch in the long run.  


Efficacy of mulch might mean different things to different property owners. When deciding which mulch would be the most effective for your landscape, keep these metrics in mind: aesthetic, nutrient-value, environmental impact. In terms of aesthetic quality, mulch has a much more diverse array of options to cut, color, and material. Depending on your desired aesthetic, traditional mulch may be better suited to match your unique property. On the other hand, according to landscaping professionals like GreenPal, many people do prefer the look of pine straw, particularly in areas with dense populations of pine trees. Far and away, traditional mulch offers a greater nutrient-value to your plant beds. Furthermore, traditional mulch also acts as a much better moisture and weed barrier– keeping in the things your landscape needs and keeping out what it doesn’t. 

Finally, as any ethical property owner would, it’s important to consider the environmental impact of mulch and pine straw. This category is a win for pine straw. In the production of traditional mulch, there are usually large machines used that have a negative impact on the environment. Mulches can also contain dyes and chemicals that may be hazardous in some cases. Whatever you choose, the most important thing is that you decide on the type of mulch that is right for the unique needs of your landscape– even if that is a combination of the two types! In any case, don’t let a random choice put the health of your landscape at risk, leave it up to the experienced professionals at The Parke Company. 

From lawn mowing to tree removal, the landscaping professionals at The Parke Company have the experience and the skills to handle lawn problems and answer your landscaping services questions. Let us meet the unique needs of your property and bring your design dreams to life. 

Give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.