Pine needles are readily available anywhere there are pine trees and you can often get them for free. It breaks down fairly rapidly, altho there's variation among the types of pine straw. When he persisted, I changed the subject. To avoid this problem, use shredded pine bark as a mulch instead of nuggets. If you are not sure that the pros of pine mulch outweigh the cons for your situation, you do have alternatives. It seems a waste to let the pine needles just lay there and rot so I thought I’d use them as mulch. Pine bark mulch and other woody mulches use up nitrogen in the soil and reduce its fertility, but the effects are complex. Experiment with mulches such as sawdust or pine needles to deter pests. The recommended amount of mulch around plants is 2 to 3 inches (5-8 cm.) They also allow water to seep through easily. Pine Needles are less expensive and go further. It would have to be many more times the amount I have used to be cause for concern. It’s only fair to point out that this problem resolves itself over time as the needles settle You may still lose a few stray needles in heavy winds but after a season or two, you likely will not suffer from this except when adding new needles. If your yard is covered with pine needles from several mature pine trees, use the needles as mulch rather than bagging and discarding them. However, pine mulch isn't a bad thing and may be a good way to keep the weeds at bay. The same isn't true of shallow-rooted plants, however. You may need to amend soil to counteract this if your plants have a strong preference. Planting acid-loving flowers and shrubs that benefit from the pine needle mulch reduces your work and benefit the plants. Pine needles tend to stay in place and not wash away during heavy rains. According to the Ohio State University Extension publication, \"Mulching Landscape Plants,\" pine needle mulch increases acidity in soil. You can even use compost as a mulch and gain the additional benefits of improving the soil and providing essential nutrients for your plants. There are many more benefits to using pine straw as a natural mulch; read about pine straw benefits. People always ask me if the acid in the pine needles is good for the plants. In "Pine Needle Mulch Benefits, Exposed" - DIY Garden Minute Ep. Generally, … Pine needle basketry has most likely existed for as long as pine needle mulch and people have shared the earth. It's much easier to purchase bags of pine straw mulch at the garden center. Pine mulch on my blueberry plants. The most sought after, hardest to find these days, & most costly straw comes from long leaf pines. Mulches help soil retain moisture in summer, rain to penetrate the soil in winter, prevent weeds from growing and protect the roots of plants in winter. Shorter needles do not interlock as well as longer varieties. However, top dressing, or mulched materials break down so slowly that they hardly make a difference to a soil's pH. You would like to grow plants and flowers in your yard, but some of the beds are located under pine trees. This allows air to penetrate the mulch to get to the soil. Mulch can be a good barrier to protect your hydrangeas from pests such as slugs and snails. What's more, acid conditions prevent some soil nutrients from being available to plants, whereas manganese, iron, zinc and others become more available – sometimes to toxic levels. I want to break down the research I’ve done on this. Choose areas that will benefit the plants that will appreciate the acidity of the needles as they decompose. What Does a Big-Leaf Maple Need to Survive? Additionally, during heavy rainfall, the largest particle sizes of pine bark can be unstable. If your yard is covered with pine needles from several mature pine trees, use the needles as mulch rather than bagging and discarding them. Pine needle mulch (aka pine straw) is the most common mulch material in my area. The advantages of pine needles over mulch include: Low Maintenance: Pine needles require little maintenance as it does not wash out of beds as mulches tend to, thereby keeping your walkways cleaner. The best mulches for deterring these pests are sawdust or pine needles, as the slugs and snails cannot travel across these types of surfaces. Prevent Erosion on Your Property. Acid soil conditions only suit certain plants, like rhododendrons (Rhododendron sinogrande, USDA zones 8 through 10) and witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana, USDA zones 3 through 8). A graduate of Leeds University, Jenny Green completed Master of Arts in English literature in 1998 and has been writing about gardening and homes since 2007. This is not to say that pine straw holds in moisture more effectively than bark mulch. Depending on what you're mulching cedar bark works well. That being said, pine straw is in no way the perfect mulching material. This is based on a study of multiple mulch materials and their combined combustion potential, taking into consideration temperature, spread rate, and flame height (source). Upon further research, it seems like pine needles may not actually lower the pH of the soil. The needles are an impressive 12 to 18 inches. 'S a small chance that pine needles do pack well over time in SFGate, Mom.me the. To bare soil in the forest ( source ) find that walkways and paths around your property stay with... Straw blowing out of the best option for all of your plants when... It certainly seemed happy, though that could be a good mulch will block out the light and airy can. To nothing or garden use up nitrogen in the ground so you don ’ t to. Needles … it 's inexpensive, lightweight, it compacts to approximately 1 1/2 deep... 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