can I use my pine needles for mulch

tracydr(9b)October 26, 2009

I have such a mess of pine needles in my yard that I need to clean up. I keep buying shavings to mulch with and need more now. Can I just use my pine needles for mulch? Was going to put in my new compost bin but there are really too many. Hate to throw something biodegradable away, once again. And, than go by something. Seems so silly.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, in some areas of the country they are sold as "pine straw" for mulch. It used to be that people avoided pine needles because they would acidify your soil but recent reports say that pine needles are not as acidifying as previously thought. Additionaly I see you live in an area of the country that probably has alkaline soil so it should be no problem. The only concern I can think of is putting a lot of them next to a building is not good if there is any wild fire danger in your area.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 6:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I use pinestraw (needles) and virtually nothing else as mulch. I think it's wonderful. It's neat, virtually weedfree (do pick out the pinecones), and will last a full year if you use 4 to 6 inches of it and don't do alot of digging under/over it. It has virtually no effect on the Ph of your soil. By all means, use it!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 8:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is so great to know! I fill like such a blonde for not finding this out before buying close to $100 of wood shavings this year and nearly buying more. I the acidity thing had me concerned but like you say, we do have a more alkaline soil. My soil was dug down to about 6" and I dumped in some bagged garden soil which I turned over a little but for the most part my plan is to continue to amend as much as possible from the top down so that the bottom hopefully improves itself by becoming farther away. The woodchips have rotted into the good garden soil and is mixing itself in nicely so that the mulch layer needs to be replaced for winter planting.
Although, the pepper HAWGS have taken over 2/3 the original garden so I'm almost starting over now on the other side with a new 3X20 (actually a triangular going from 4-2 ft in the width) plot we just completed this week.As soon as the babies are large enough I'll mulch everything with 4-6" of pine mulch.
Very excited that I can use something that has been a pain to get rid of up til now!!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 2:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
familyman2004(z8 MS)

Pine neddles/ straw makes an excellent/ wonderful mulch. I have used it for years originally only during the hot dry summer for weed supression and moisture retention. I now use it year round it works well on the winter weeds and grasses.

My old method was in the spring rake off the pinestraw from my garden beds add compost, till then put old pinestraw back on and add new straw to vegtable beds. In my opinion the old pinestraw makes the best mulch for veggies because it has partially broken down and can be placed easier and closer to the plant stems with less potential to smother the plants it also lies flatter whch is good. I also somtimes comeback and add an additional layer after the intial one has been rained on and flattens somewhat and also the plants have grown and the risk of them being smothered/covered by the pinestraw mulch is less.In the end the thicker the better.

This year I am experimenting with no till by raking off the old pinestraw adding a thick layerof composted cow manure ( I found a free source) then digging my planting holes with a post hole digger sprinkle a small amount of slow release fertilizer in the bottom of the the planting holes. Then planting and reapplying the old pinestraw and adding new. If it were not for the pinestraw/ mulch this would be a disater the free cow manure even though it has been composted to a soil like state has so many weed seeds that my garden would be over run with weeds in a matter of weeks.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 6:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
familyman2004(z8 MS)

I also forgot to mention (earlier post) that I am going to begin using it in some flower beds after adding a dense layer of composted leaves and stuff that the city gives away free and also has weed seeds or cow manure .(It seems like the free stuff that I love to add to my garden has the toughest and fastest growing weed seeds in it)
My main reason for using it here in addition to weed suppression and moisture retention to my knowledge pinestraw is not a food source for termites as bark and woodchips are. I am sure that they would enjoy the moist environment that the pinestraw provides.

When I tell some folks what I am doing with pinestraw in my veggie garden they act as if it is so strange and unusual my saying is " there is a reason that grandpa left the farm it wasn't because he didn't enjoy growing stuff anymore it was because he hated weeding."

When my wife first brought the idea of mulching veggies to my attention years ago she showed me an article by a local guy in which he listed the benefits of mulching veggies and ended the article with the statement that I have found to be so very true " Some folks just don't get it"

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 6:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good call on the Pine needles helping out alkaline soil. I hadn't thought about that. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2015 at 3:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Pine needles are a good mulch & they do NOT acidify your soil. PINE NEEDLE MYTH

    Bookmark   March 10, 2015 at 8:31AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
CA freeze
We had about a week of teens and low 20* here in mild...
attractive bean support
Hello. I am planning my garden and I would like to...
Material for pathways?
Hi! I have a new home and am working on my first pottager...
You can't have your salad and your design....
I love the look of veggie gardens, especially the potager...
flat feet exercises
I genuinely enjoy looking through on this internet...
Sponsored Products
CS001 LED Channel System
Hummingbird Light Set of Four Shades 3x6x5 (Clip-On)
$49.99 | Lamps Plus
Gallery Crystal Empire 6-light Chandelier
Progress Lighting Ashmore Collection Wall Mount Outdoor Black Lantern P5874-31WB
Home Depot
Hinkley Lighting | Omni 4 Light Chandelier
$459.00 | YLighting
Tec Concealed 1 Outlet Twin Thermostatic Shower Valve (Oval Plate)
Hudson Reed
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™