We talk a lot about mulch at Wimberg and how we would rather not have to use it. We are gardeners, designers of great new landscapes and that means plants, water features, hardscapes and accents of art, boulders or attractive seating.
(Above: When a landscape is lush, there's little need for mulch to play a role in its deisgn or weed supression.)
If mulch is a must, we prefer the more natural options like pinefines or pinstraw. In a new garden, even one that it lushly planted, time and space is given to the new plants to grow and intermingle. So a bit of mulch is required and a good idea. But the end goal is not to need mulch in the growing season, we want the plants we desire to be lush enough to block out weeds.
In the early winter, when many of the plants have died back, a covering of pinestraw looks clean and tidy. Come spring the new plants have no issue pushing up through needles. Unlike hardwood mulch, pinestraw doesn’t suppress air and water circulation, and it’s unlikely to smother a new plant or plants that don’t like to have their bases covered.