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pine bark mulch vs. pine wood chip mulch

 
Annalisa Bellu
Posts: 16
Location: Serra de Montemuro, Portugal
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This autumn I will finally begin my mixed berry orchard in central Portugal (1000m above sea level). I decided to go for a natural vs. plastic mulch and I have to decide between bark and wood chip (both from Pinus pinaster). Prices are similar, bark being a little cheaper (19 vs 20.8 euros/cubic meter). I need your opinion on which one is best performing and why...
I was also thinking about doing some kind of experimental test using different types of mulching and gathering some maybe useful data along the years, but still, I would appreciate some insights!!! Thank you in advance
 
Burra Maluca
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Bark is higher in nitrogen and breaks down faster, so that's the one I'd go for, to build the soil up faster.  Your soil might be different to mine though.
 
Annalisa Bellu
Posts: 16
Location: Serra de Montemuro, Portugal
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Thank you Burra Maluca. Actually from what the seller told me and from a quick search on the internet I got the idea that bark break slower which could be good if you don't want to replace it frequently and if the main point is weed suppression. As to soil building, I thought wood chip would be better (following back to eden film...). I also read somewhere that bark does not soak like wood chip so it has a worse water retention effect. I am interested in both weed suppression and soil building/water retention properties. It might depend on the plant type (what tree does your bark come from?) the weather pattern or soil type, as you said.
 
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