Pine needles: Best as a winter mulch for ornamental beds and shrubs, and excellent for acid-loving ornamentals and small fruits. It breaks down fairly rapidly, altho there's variation among the types of pine straw. ... Pam Baxter is an avid organic vegetable gardener who lives in Kimberton. I would advise against using pine needles to mound around potatoes and most garden vegetables. Long needle pine straw is from the Southern Yellow pine tree. If you live near pine trees, this is an obvious choice. Some people fear that pine needles are too acidic for use in our gardens. It lasts a long time. I’ve used pine needles, also known as pine straw, off and on in my garden, simply because I have an abundance of pine trees on our property. Pine Needle Mulching. The good thing about pine needles is that they smell good and they become attractive as they decompose. Straw. This episode is meant for any level of gardener who wants to learn about the benefits of pine needle mulch. Joey talk about the myth that you can not use Pine needles as mulch Have a garden question send it. In "Pine Needle Mulch Benefits, Exposed" - DIY Garden Minute Ep. 62 - we'll explain how you can re-purpose those pine needles in your garden. However, pine mulch isn't a bad thing and may be a good way to keep the weeds at bay. Both are recommended for vegetable and fruit plantings. So why is pine straw a good mulch? Adding pine needles or shredded leaves to your soil will also attract earthworms. mulches. Pine needle mulch (aka pine straw) is the most common mulch material in my area. Pine Needles. Long and an attractive coppery color when dry, they make a gorgeous mulch and are extremely slow to decompose. I have a 40 acre farm and annually test soil ph in several different pastures. Pull away the needles in spring when using pine straw for garden mulch, so that tender new shoots can easily penetrate to reach the sun and air. Another way to use pine needles as garden mulch is to mix them in compost. To use pine needles as plant food, simply sprinkle a small amount around your garden. Pine needles have been favored in landscaping projects ranging from residential to industrial and highway landscapes. Grass clippings. If your yard is covered with pine needles from several mature pine trees, use the needles as landscape mulch rather than bagging and discarding them, especially around plants that benefit from pine needle mulch. When you have collected all of those needles, there is one last piece of advice that not to throw them all in the trash. Pine needle mulch — it's not just for blueberries anymore. Which mulch … Despite our local concentration of pine forests, rarely is pine straw offered for sale. Vegetable garden and pine needles Asked February 13, 2015, 7:09 PM EST I have read several places where it is bad to have pine needle mulch in your vegetable garden, and other places that say there is … These types of organic mulches are particularly useful as mulch for vegetable gardens since they add nutrients to the soil as they decompose. The odd hush under really old pine trees is created by the pine needle mulch deadening all sound. Once they dry, I like the look of the needles in the garden. Looks aside, mulch can cost a lot of money if you have a large garden, so save yourself some money and use free pine needles instead. Let me count the ways: 1. Straw is an excellent mulch to use nearly everywhere in the garden. Like other wood mulches, pine bark mulch is available for purchase in different forms and textures, from finely shredded or doubled processed to larger chunks called pine nuggets. When pine needles fall to the ground, they have left their life source (the tree) and begin to decompose. These pine needle straw mulch pros and cons will help you maintain healthier plants while reducing maintenance needs throughout the year. Use pine needle mulch in perennial beds such as strawberries and blueberries or around shrubs; wherever you have permanent plantings. To keep the mulch layer consistent, replenish with 1 inch of pine needles each year, either in the spring or the fall. Vegetables prefer a soil pH level of 6.5 to 7 and your pine needles will help create the proper pH. In addition, winter mulches can enhance the cold tolerance of perennial vegetables, herbs and fruits, helping to insure a strong comeback in spring. (So don't put pine needles … It’s the same for pine straw (pine needles) you can buy as mulch. Flower and Vegetable Gardens. A 2-inch layer of grass clippings provides good weed control. Pine straw is the name given to pine needles when they are used as top dressing mulch. Pine needles and pine bark should be watched closely in vegetable garden as they can raise the acidic levels of the soil. Pine needle mulch is a natural soil enhancer that reduces erosion, slows down moisture evaporation and keeps down weeds. in regular soil and up to 5 … Pine needles look like they would make a very convenient mulch and in some cases this can be true, but be careful. You also need less long needle mulch to cover a large area. Covering it with mulch helps keep the moisture from evaporating, and blocks the sun’s rays, keeping the soil damp and cool. If you manage pests wisely with this product and plan for its initial costs, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages when using it. In autumn, the most widely available organic mulches include leaves, compost, pine needles, wood chips, sawdust, and evergreen boughs. Pine … I like using it in my rose beds because it's so easy to move around when I need direct access to the soil around the plants. Once that wonderful pine fragrance has gone out of the needles, so have the terpenes, the source of that fragrance. Marigolds, snapdragons, zinnias, dahlias and roses are just a few flowers that grow well in pine needle mulch. Pine needles decompose slowly and water can seep through your mulch easily.They will not change the pH of your soil even if you make a 2 or 3 inches of mulch. Kinds of mulch. 3) is easy to handle and remove when it's time for a crop change. So, the question was posed by a PVFS customer "Can I use pine needles as a mulch for my potatoes?" A 1 1/2- to 3-inch layer of pine needles is ideal for all gardens. This mulch isn’t suitable for more formal settings because it doesn’t look pretty once you get it layered on, but it does the job for less formal areas of your yard like your vegetable garden. )Pine needle mulch: 1) does a good job at limiting weeds. Avoid mulching any garden bed too deeply. Oak leaves and pine needles on the other hand are not a good choice. Pine needles are acidic when they're green and may increase acidity in soil, but they become more neutral over time as they decompose. By the time pine needles are brown and dry, most of the terpenes have evaporated. The needles are an impressive 12 to 18 inches. Pine needle mulch collects for years under pine trees (and other coniferous trees that get labeled as pine trees), making a soft resilient carpet. More:Coronavirus 'victory garden': Plant yourself some food insurance during COVID-19 outbreak More:Harold Reid was driving force behind Statler Brothers Dr. Mike Goatley, an Extension Turfgrass Specialist at Virginia Tech and occasional guest on my radio and TV programs, says deciduous leaves (oak, maple, etc.) It's a lousy mulch in a vegetable garden, and it's not a great mulch in a perennial flower bed. And there are several different kinds of mulch, each with its own set of pros and cons. Pine Straw Mulch Application The recommended amount of mulch around plants is 2 to 3 inches (5-8 cm.) In some cases, though, bark of other evergreens, like fir and spruce, may be added into pine bark mulch. Pine Needles. Free. Mix in Compost. And that’s when the pH increases (acidity decreases) and they turn yellow and then brown. There are many more benefits to using pine straw as a natural mulch; read about pine straw benefits. Although they aren’t my preferred method, they do have their advantages. Mulching vegetable beds that are harvested daily may not be very practical because pine needles are prickly! ... i know for a fact that copious amounts of pine needles will lower soil ph. Pine needles make an excellent mulch for acid-loving garden beds. Baled pine needles are also found in garden centers for use as a mulch. Pine bark mulch is a compelling weed control around vegetables when layered 2 to 3 inches deep in the garden. The fragrance of pine needles on sunny days is also an added benefit when they are used as garden mulch. make a much better mulch for vegetables than pine needles. As pine needles decompose, they add acid to the soil. Pine bark mulch, as the name suggests, is made from the shredded bark of pine trees. There are several reasons to choose pine needles for your mulching needs. Using hands to remove pine needles can make you tired and exhausted, but it tells you the way how to get pine needles off the mulch. Pine Needles Can Work as Mulch Pine needles, also known as pine straw, make fine mulch for some flower beds. If you're concerned about using pine needles because you've heard they change the pH of the soil, be aware that experts at the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension say that while the needles are acidic, this cannot change your soil pH. The pine needles will slowly degrade, at which point their nutrients will be released into the soil. Also, many berry bushes like acidic conditions raspberry, blueberries and strawberries benefit from the increased porosity when using such mulches. While pine needles don't break down as fast as some other types of organic mulch, they still break down. Email Deciding the best mulch for vegetable gardens can be tricky when you don’t know much about the topic. Here are some of the reasons for using pines needles in wide-row edible gardens. (Read my post "Wide row planting & trench composting" for the details on this planting method. Digging down into the duff illustrates how this happens. Benefits of Pine Needle Mulch. Both provide protection against weather and moisture loss, although hardwood mulch seems to outperform pine needles in preventing weeds. In the growing rows, near plants, or even in the walking rows. It goes on for years, as contrasted with littler mulch materials, for example, pine needles or leaves, the two of which decay quicker than bigger, chunkier pine bark. The leaves of oak trees as well as pine needles are acidic, and can knock a soil’s PH out of balance over time. Pine Needles as Garden Mulch. They also allow water to seep through easily. But if you can get your hands on some, whether commercial product or your neighbor’s surplus, pine straw makes excellent and inexpensive mulch. Pine needles blow out of place more easily than mulch, and you may find yourself raking it back into place from time to time. They are light and fluffy, so spreading them around is a piece of cake, and they don’t compact much as they decompose, so you don’t have to worry about them becoming too thick or forming a rain-impervious mat. 2) doesn't form a crust, so even a light rain filters to the soil and doesn't roll away. According to "Decoding Gardening Advice" by Jeff Gillman and Meleah Maynard, pine needles may contain chemicals that keep seeds from germinating.
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