Many gardeners find the constant pine needles under their trees an unsightly mess, but using pine straw for garden mulch is effective for winter protection and a host of other uses. • It’s easy to spread. Use a garden fork to mix the needles into soil to reduce compaction and aid in oxygenation. to add a nutrient rich heating blanket for winter coverage. USA Pinestraw offers the highest quality pine needle mulch on the market today. Pine straw is excellent on hills and slopes because the pine needles interlock after spreading and keep the pine straw from moving. A pine needle lacks the surface area necessary to be effective at blocking out light. Pine needles are used in flower beds as a ground cover for landscaping. This site is a participant in affiliate programs such as Amazon Associates and earns from qualifying purchases. In fall, rake up the needles and place them over spent tender perennials and other plants that may succumb to winter freezes. Before we move to mulch, let’s look at the cons. It has its challenges. Pros for Pine straw: • It’s less expensive than mulch, at least in the short run. It is heavier on the pocket as opposed to pine straw ; You would have to spend more time spreading it as it tends to take a longer … Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Pine needle straw mulch comes from the droppings of various pine tree species each year. The use of pine straw and mulch for landscaping can be beneficial for aesthetics and the health of your gardens and plant life. This looser mulch allows water to infiltrate readily into the soil for plant availability and avoids wasteful runoff of irrigation. Mulch plays an important role in your garden by protecting the soil from wind and rain or by adding nutrients that improve plant health. Shop pine needles & straw mulch and a variety of lawn & garden products online at Lowes.com. A common concern with using pine straw as a mulch is fear that it may attract pests. Sign up for our newsletter. Pine straw is simply the dropped dry foliage from pine trees. We ship pine straw mulch direct to you. You can even use compost as a mulch and gain the additional benefits of improving the soil and providing essential nutrients for your plants. This is not to say that pine straw holds in moisture more effectively than bark mulch. Pine straw is very flammable when dry and is in fact the second most combustible commonly used mulch, second only to shredded rubber mulch. Pine straw is much lighter and easier to work with than most other mulching options. if you don’t happen to have pine trees on your property. That being said, pine needles do pack well over time. Nothing is ever harvested from the tree. It forms a good barrier to prevent weeds. This offers quite a lot of appeal for me personally since I live in the “Big Thicket” of Southeast Texas where Pine trees are everywhere. Pine straw piles provide cover for small insects and rodents. In my opinion, pine straw is best in beds with acid-loving plants such as azaleas, gardenias, hydrangeas, camellias and the like. Pine straw applied in this way around trees will discourage rodents from feasting on the bark. If you are comfortable with ordering and possibly waiting (typically not longer than 1-3 weeks for pre-orders) you are welcome to do so. And that’s the most any of us can hope for. Here is a example of the finished look of mulch He takes a practical approach to yard improvement and enjoys putting best practices and “golden rules of lawn care” to the test. Keeping them moist will also help to prevent your mulch from flying away. Is pine straw good mulch? Cons for Pine straw: • It has to be refreshed more often than mulch. Once it does begin to compost, the nutrient content in soil increases. A couple of months later, the author found themselves retracting most of their initial convictions in a post aptly titled “Eating my words on pine straw“. If you are not sure that the pros of pine mulch outweigh the cons for your situation, you do have alternatives. Pine straw mulch also adds insulation to the soil to help during fluctuations in temperatures and also tends to stay in place even under conditions of drenching rain. Small or large quantities. Pine straw blowing out of the beds in the wind was one of the key issues cited. That being said, pine straw is in no way the perfect mulching material. By its very design, pine straw is a poor solution as a weed barrier. If there is one complaint that I’ve had with bark mulch in the past it has been that it tends to float when we have heavy rainfall. Pine straw, an organic mulch alternative to wood mulch, is the fallen needles from the base of pine trees that is collected and sold in bales. He knows exactly what the challenges are to nurturing a thriving yard in difficult soil. It is also an attractive natural ground cover around ornamental plantings. Here’s equal time for any possible downside of pine straw. I’ve spent my share of weekends shoveling bark mulch and rocks for flower bed covering. We have to remember that living plants (that includes weeds) usually require moisture, nutrients, air, and light to grow (source). Thriving Yard is an affiliate for companies including Amazon Associates and earn a commission on qualifying purchases. Your soil will be able to absorb nutrients more properly; It will not blow away and stay put for longer. Because it is so lightweight, it is easily blown out of the flower bed or garden. I could literally rake my yard in a weekend and have enough pine straw to “mulch” several flower beds. H O W M A N Y B A L E S D O Y O U N E E D ? Pallets: From $1099 9" B-Grade Pine Straw Mulch … There is no perfect solution so it may come down to price, accessibility, and the particular aesthetic look that you are going for. Pallets: From $979 9" A-Grade Pine Straw Mulch Commercial Delivery. Pine straw can provide benefits to your flower bed or garden when used as a mulch. Pine straw mulch is lighter weight than bark mulch. • It’s easy to rearrange. Many people like myself live in an area where pine trees continuously blanket the ground with a fresh supply of potential mulch. A good mulch will block out the light and therefore inhibit the growth of unwanted plant life. As pine needles break down, they slightly acidify the soil, making them an excellent landscaping mulch for acid-loving plants, trees and shrubs such as camellias, azaleas, hydrangeas, fuchsias, gardenias, ferns, dogwoods, magnolias, holly and evergreens. Now that we know about pine straw, mulch is what you need to look at next. Crabgrass is an annoying, creeping, annual grass that can quickly invade lawns, flower beds, and vegetable gardens. It is cheaper than bark mulch by approximately .10 cents per square foot, plentiful and more beneficial than bark mulch. Our priority is to help you in any way we can in order to see your project through to completion. Around woody plants, keep the mulch at least 3 to 6 inches (8-15 cm.) Use a garden fork to mix the needles into soil to reduce compaction and aid in oxygenation. Pine nuggets are also known as pine bark and work well as a mulch in flower beds, around trees, walkways and paths, and covering landscape beds. It’s a different look than what we’ve had in the past and, aside from the labor involved, it was not a bad choice for our situation. There is some truth to this. Pine straw helps insulate the soil from temperature fluctuations and will not move with heavy rains. The bottom line is you have a lot of choices when it comes to mulching. Dead needles that have fallen from pine trees are harvested and turned into the mulch. It’s also a great mulch to use around almost any evergreen in the holly, cypress, arborvitae or cedar family of trees and shrubs. Moisturizes the plants significantly better against pines straw. Pine needle mulch (pine straw) is the number one mulching material used in landscape plantings in the Southeastern U.S. Because pine straw is actually a leaf (needle), it benefits the environment in the same way that decomposing leaves benefit the forest floor, by recycling nutrients and maintaining soil organic matter in a compost-like fashion. Pine straw helps insulate the soil from temperature fluctuations and will not move with heavy rains. Unless you pile a lot on you may find it very disappointing as a weed deterrent. Pine straw is an organic landscaping mulch (garden mulch) that retains moisture, decomposes and is high in nitrogen. Pine straw is freely available in areas with pine trees and is inexpensive to purchase in bales. The Pros of Pine Straw We’re on to the pros of the second option in this debate of mulch vs. pine straw. Their needles, which are referred to as “straw,” are raked from the forest floor, then baled for use as other mulch products. This allows the absorption of nutrients while preventing weeds. In addition, the pine needles provide cover for the snake as it moves through the flower bed or garden. Before you go all-in, however, let’s balance these benefits with a few of the less-wonderful aspects of this mulching material. If it is too thick, it will no longer be effective and can do more harm than good to the plant. I actually ended up using bull rock in my latest flower bed, mainly because I didn’t want to deal with floating bark all over my yard. You can purchase it in bales from 15 to 40 pounds (7-18 kg.) Any pine straw place will tell you how it is perfectly suited for hills and slopes because of the interlocking quality of pine straw needles. Get Mulch & Pine Straw. We specialize in Pine straw and Mulch installation. Pine straw mulch benefits also include improving soil tilth. Pine straw is very flammable when dry and is in fact the second most combustible commonly used mulch, second only to shredded rubber mulch. 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. Garden beds may be entirely covered, while other plants should have the mulch 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5 cm.) This attracts snakes in search of a food source. This is based on a study of multiple mulch materials and their combined combustion potential, taking into consideration temperatu… Click here for Paul’s author page. We'll contact you to confirm everything! If your garden or flower bed is built with fir mounds this may get a little annoying. Needless to say, when and if available, I ALWAYS use long needle pine straw. Pine straw applied in this way around trees will discourage rodents from feasting on the bark. Fall is the best time to apply the mulch for winter protection. Some would argue that they may even help acidify alkaline soils, although this has been highly debated, dependent on your location and current soil conditions. Unlike corporate website companies, the authors on this website regularly use many of the tips and recommendations provided in their own garden and lawncare. … Pine straw is fast becoming the favored mulch and ground-cover for landscapers and homeowners in urban America. Pine straw typically costs less or about the same as a bag of standard mulch. During my research, I ran across an old blog titled Garden of Aaron. First, let’s outline the key benefits that pine mulching offers over other materials. away from the stems. Doing that, however, can create welcoming habitats for pests (more on that later). Be sure to take these aspects into consideration as well.
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