Lowcountry Landscape: Mulch or Pine Straw?

As Realtors, we tend to know a little bit of everything when it comes to home improvements. From which kitchen countertops are best for red wine, to the most durable flowers for hot Charleston Summers, we are asked just about every question related to homes, home maintenance and home improvement. 

Today's debate: Mulch or Pine Straw for your landscaping needs.  Its a topic that is foreign to many of our Northern transplants, but pine straw is the most common flowerbed filler in the Lowcountry.  It is natural, inexpensive, and hides weeds better than mulch.  It is also low maintenance and easy to install.  Pine straw typically needs refreshed twice a year.  The downside? Its natural composition makes it feel like home to several critters you'd rather nowhere near YOUR home! Roaches and mice like to cozy up in pine straw, as do snakes. What's frightening is that copperhead snakes, common to the lowcountry, love the pine straw and easily blend in.  The folks at Lowcountry Mulch recommend mulch over pine straw for that very reason if you have small children or dogs. 

Mulch on the other hand, can be a classic choice, but is more labor intensive, costs more, and is more prone to weeds.  It only needs to be refreshed once per year, and typically the first installation is the most difficult.  Today there are companies, like Lowcountry Mulch, that will blow the mulch in for you. It's an extra cost, but beats hauling wheel barrow after wheel barrow of heavy mulch. 

So which do you prefer? We'd love to hear your opinion! 

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