Experts and BHG readers answer.
What can I do about mulch?
I have two questions, both relating to bark mulched gardens. The first: How do I get those pesky pine needle out of the garden? Is there a handy trick that may be more productive than picking them out one-by-one? The second: Will my forget-me-nots self seed in my mulched garden? I have a memorial garden that I want them to spread throughout. I have three established plants right now, but the more the better.
Thanks for writing. There's no great way to keep pine needles from mixing in your mulch. However, pine needles are a great mulch in themselves, so unless you don't like the look of them intermixing, there's no good reason to remove the needles.
As for the forget-me-nots, it depends on how deep your layer of mulch is. If it's more than a couple of inches, then their seeds will have a lot of trouble sprouting. I'd guess a few seeds will find a way to sprout and grow, since mulch isn't 100 percent weedproof --- but you'd definitely have a better crop of forget-me-not without the mulch.
---Justin, Senior Garden Editor, BHG.com