Slow to decompose, pine bark mulch is best raked out

Posted on Dec 21 2014 in Backyard

raking mulchI have a small garden with nothing but tomato plants and cucumbers. I put pine bark mulch on it to control the weeds. I was wondering if I should till the pine in or rake it out?


Pine bark is relatively slow to decompose and may make tilling more difficult. So it may be best to rake the mulch off to the side before tilling. The bark mulch could then be re-applied after planting next season.

Or you might consider using the pine bark in your landscape beds around trees, shrubs, or perennial flowers or between beds if you use raised beds. Finer-textured mulch such as clean hay, straw, grass clippings, dry tree leaves (except black walnut), pine needles, can be tilled under in the garden.

Rosie Lerner is the Purdue Extension consumer horticulturist and a consumer of Tipmont REMC. Questions about gardening issues may be sent to: “Ask Rosie,” Electric Consumer, P.O. Box 24517, Indianapolis, IN 46224, or