Pine Bark: The Eco-Friendly Mulch for Gardens and Plants

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Pine bark mulch is still long-lasting and it adds a lot of valuable nutrients to the soil as it decomposes.People who live in the Perth area know how hot our summers can be and the damage that high temperatures and bright sunlight can do to our plants and gardens. And, without a doubt, using a quality ground cover is one way to protect new spring and summer plants and gardens.

Professional gardeners and homeowners know that the shredded, eco-friendly bark of pine trees, like the pine bark mulch available at Bibra Lake Soils, makes an ideal mulch for a variety of outdoor projects. Yet, there are several questions about pine bark mulch that we are frequently asked. We hope that this blog will answer the ten most asked questions and bring everyone up to date on the ABCs of using pine bark mulch.


What is Pine Bark?

Pine bark mulch is, as the name implies, harvested from the bark that has fallen away from pine tree trunks and from the bark collected from fallen pine trees. This is an all-weather mulch that protects outdoor plants from cold winter weather and serves to maintain lower ground temperatures during the hot summer weather. The mulch can retain soil moisture that lets plants survive during heat waves. Pine bark also prevents potential soil-related diseases from spreading throughout your garden. Pine bark mulch deters the growth of weeds, protects against soil erosion, and adds beneficial nutrients to the soil.


Is There More Than One Type of Pine Bark Mulch?

Yes, there are four different styles of pine bark mulch produced for designated outdoor performance.

  • Shredded Pine Bark Mulch is best suited to support the garden and outdoor plants with the retention of soil moisture during our extreme summer heat.
  • Premium Pine Bark Mulch is best suited to support plants that grow best in soil with low acidic levels.
  • Double Shredded Pine Bark Mulch is best suited as a top covering that provides areas of colourful decor throughout your lawn and garden.
  • Pine Bark Mulch Nuggets are larger in size and best suited in areas that have lots of rain and heavy winds.


Is Pine Bark Mulch Good for Use in the Garden?

Shredded pine bark mulch is a positive addition to garden soil. Besides the most obvious benefit of moisture retention in the soil during our hot summer months, this type of mulch reduces weed problems and adds valuable soil nutrients during its decomposing phase. The bark of a pine tree has the properties of a natural insecticide and works to repel several garden insects and mosquitoes.

100% organic, pine bark chips retain their shape and color longer than shredded wood mulches.


Is Pine Bark Mulch Beneficial for Flowering Plants and Bushes?

Screened Pine bark mulch is safe for use with flowering plants and bushes in all areas of your Perth regional landscapes. When placed around the bases of plants and bushes, the mulch resists insect habitation, helps prevent soil erosion, maintains soil moisture at the root level of plants and bushes, keeps a lower ground temperature than areas without the mulch, and retains a stronger life cycle than other forms of mulch. The pine bark mulch is slow to lose its natural colour, so it provides a decorative appearance for full growing seasons which lasts up to two years after one application.


Does Pine Bark Mulch Attract Termites and Ants?

All mulch has the potential to attract termites and ants. However, the pine bark mulch sold at Bibra Lake Soils is screened and cleared of termites and ants before being sold. Pine bark mulch is made from wood, a natural source of food for termites. But the mulch can retain moisture and warmth that attracts termites and carpenter ants. To keep these insects away from your home or other outdoor structures, keep the mulch at least 15cm from buildings.

Another approach to insect control where the mulch is needed close to structures is to place termite granules in a small ditch dug around the outside of buildings. Spray water over the granules to dissolve them into the soil and prevent any termite invasion. Then cover the ditch with gravel and apply the mulch as needed. Dissolved termite granules can prevent termite nesting for 9 months to 1 year per application. These granules also deter the nesting of carpenter ants.


Is Pine Bark Edible by Pets and People?

Unless you are a survivalist or someone who is lost in the outback without food, there is no real reason to eat pine bark. But the simple answer to this question is yes. Humans and pets can eat pesticide-free shredded pine bark without any complications. Do not let your pets or children eat pine bark needles, as they pose the risk of cutting into the intestinal lining of their stomachs. Cats may not want to eat your pine bark mulch, but they may be tempted to use the freshly laid mulch as a litter box. You can prevent this temptation by spraying cayenne pepper over the top layer of your mulch. The pepper will not harm your plants or your pets, but it will make the mulch undesirable for use as a litter box.


How Thick Should Pine Bark Mulch Layers be?

As support for new planting beds and bushes, apply a 10cm layer of shredded pine bark mulch. Weeds can grow through mulch if the layer is too thin, while water will not be able to moisturise the soil if the mulch layer is too thick. Because mulch dries out quickly in hot climates, it should be turned over or replaced every few weeks to preserve its moisture retention ability.

Organic mulch prepared from pine bark helps in retaining moisture of plants and prevents soil-borne diseases from spreading.


Why Choose Pine Bark Over Other Mulches?

Pine bark mulch is natural, organic, biodegradable and adds vital nutrients to the soil as it decomposes. Pine bark mulch retains its structure and attractive colouring longer than other mulches, which makes this type of mulch less expensive over time. Another advantage to using pine bark mulch is that it is extremely light in weight when compared to other planting mulches. This means that the pine bark mulch can provide soil conditioning and aeration without weakening under hot summer temperatures.


How Often Does Pine Bark Mulch Need to Be Replaced?

Because pine bark mulch is more durable than other mulches, it will retain its protective properties and attractive colouring for a longer period. The quality of the pine bark mulch sold at Bibra Lake Soils can provide effective soil coverage for up to two years before replacement is necessary.


Can Pine Bark Mulch Be Used for Planting Orchids?

Premium pine bark is a good mulching choice when planting orchids or succulents. The finely ground pine bark mulch can be mixed with potting soil to provide the plants with essential nutrients that will result in more vibrant leaves and blossoms.


Why Use Bibra Lake Soils Shredded and Screened Pine Bark Mulch Instead of Harvested Raw Pine Bark Pieces?

There are several risks associated with using harvested raw pine bark pieces. The largest risk is that the bark has not been screened for termites and other infectious pests that can result in more damage than benefits to newly planted gardens. You also need to know how to separate the usable bark from the inner layers that are not usable as mulch. Our screened pine bark gives you a mulch that serves as a natural pest-resistant product. Our pine bark mulch takes the guesswork out of the potential presence of unwanted insects.


Pine bark mulch in gardens usually lasts up to 2 years.

Bibra Lake Soils is open seven days a week for your gardening and landscaping needs. You can visit us at 222 Barrington Street, Bibra Lake WA 6163. You can email us at, or you can call us direct at (08) 9434 2290 to speak with one of our friendly, knowledgeable staff members.