what plants can i use pine needles on?

Sue Kittek, Special to The Morning Call Q: I have three large pine trees in front of my house emerging from pretty sizeable mulch beds. A resounding yes! In addition, if you collect pine needles in the woods, you can harm nature. How to Use Pine Needles as Garden Mulch Cover Exposed Soil. Whether warmed by the sun or damp from the rain, fresh-fallen pine needles have (to me, at least) a delicious sweet-spicy aroma that I can’t get too much of. Well it must be as the plants are all doing well. Tree Service Experts Since 1880. 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, also called pine straw, can be used as mulch for strawberries. Acidic-loving plants respond particularly well to pine-needle mulch. You should also opt for pine needles or pine straw in particularly windy or rainy areas. What plants can I grow under pine trees? Pine Needles- what plants can survive them? This include gardenia, azalea, Itea, holly, all types of ferns and cranberry viburnum. Many vegetables and herbs thrive in the acid-rich soil conditions created by pine needle mulch. She served as a restaurant critic for "Time Out Abu Dhabi" and "Time Out Amsterdam" and has also written about food culture in the United Arab Emirates for "M Magazine." Instead of using stones, bricks, or rubber mulch, you can add some vibrancy to the place with flowering plants and shrubs that improve the entire surrounding. Therefore, keep three primary criteria in mind when hunting for plants or shrubs that grow well under pine trees : tolerant of full shade, dry soils and acidic soils. Straw is, of course, the classic mulch for strawberry plants. What Type of Plants Can Wood Ash Be Used On?. View our, Fact or Fiction: Five Ways You May Be Harming Your Trees. Pine straw makes a kind of unique mulch for veggies in that it does not break down fast and so you can't expect to "dig it in" after a season. Lily of the valley. Traditional mulch can get washed and blown away, but pine needles interlock as they settle in, creating a durable, weather-proof groundcover. Subscribe to the "The Sapling" on the Davey Blog for the latest tips to keep your outdoor space in tip-top shape throughout the year. ©2020 The Davey Tree Expert Company. Some types of pines can have large woody cones with scales that are long and straight. The needles weave together so they doesn’t blow away or wash away on slopes; They allow good moisture retention; You can use them like a blanket in winter to protect plants from the cold . 8. From The Garden Forum: I have a pretty good size raspberry patch, and a very large pine tree that drops a ton of needles. Lots of berry bushes thrive in the acidic conditions created by pine needle mulch, making them ideal candidates for this natural means of enriching soil. I go to my garden early about 7 or 8 am about 2 to 3 days a week. A layer of pine needle mulch also protects plants and soil during winter and from intense summer sun. Is Organic Mulch Better for My Trees & Plants? When planting beneath pine trees, there are two major challenges: The dense distribution of branches and needles makes it very difficult for light to get through to plants belowand the ground beneath a pine tree becomes acidic from the constant falling of pine needles. Spread pine needle mulch 3 inches deep the first time you use it. Sweet and delicious strawberries also pair well with pine needle mulch, as the acidic soil helps them absorb nutrients. Plenty of flowers are a good match for soil treated with pine needle mulch. Zinnias are easy to grow, blossom quickly and are able to cope with intense heat and sunlight, in addition to acidic soil. What Type Of Mulch To Choose: Mulch Selection Guide. Yet again, pine needles have disadvantages to their use, just like all of the other products. If it looks sparse, intersperse the shrubs with containers filled with shade-loving flowers. So, more than a 4” inch layer of needles creates an interlocking turtle shell effect that sheds water away from your plants. It seems to be especially good around acid-loving plants such as hydrangeas, rhododendrons and camellias. Large hostas will look very original among the large needles. Raspberry bushes, which need well-drained soil and moderate to full sun, do well with pine needle mulch. Spread the mulch over the root zone, leaving 3 inches between the base of trees and shrubs and the mulch. The prickly parts of a pine tree aren’t just a sweet-scented addition to the holiday season. Important: Avoid mulching with pine needles in wildfire-prone areas. Add shrubs that love acidic soil underneath the pines. Failing local sources, you can also find pine straw online. They are expensive to buy if purchased commercially. If you want a full list of plants that benefit from pine needle mulch or more information on using pine needle mulch have a look at the following links. I have tried pine needles, saw dust, mulch, grass clipping, plastic, news paper, card board it all turns out to be more work than to hoe my garden. Are there plants that can survive them? Also, not all plants flourish in acidic soil, so you should use pine needles according to the plant you want to grow. View our Privacy Policy for more information. They are expensive to buy if purchased commercially. Spread 2 to 3 inches of pine needles loosely around the tomato plant, creating a mulched circle several feet across, or between rows and plants in the garden. Therefore, use only quality purchased mulch. Can I use pine needle as mulch for gooseberry and currants? Gardens, Trees and Shrubs 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, … Finding plants that do well under pine trees can be a bit more difficult because you need to find ones that don’t need a ton of sunlight and can do well with the type of soil surrounding the base of the pine trees. University of Illinois: Acid loving plants, Texas A&M University: Environmental Considerations with Pine Straw Harvesting, North Carolina State University: Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden, Custom Pine Straw: Pine Needle Mulch and Plants that love the Acid, The Effect of Pine Straw on Strawberry Plants. Pine needles are also known as pine straw. Still doing research? My husband wants me to use the needles as … Grass grows poorly in acidic soil, so you'll have to neutralize the soil under your pine trees. How to Use Pine Needle Mulch Many pine trees and other conifers may have toxicity levels that could cause reactions like skin rashes, dizziness, gastrointestinal complications and headaches.Before foraging for pine needles or any wild berry or fruit, always make sure you identify the plants you are picking before you use them. Both potatoes and garlic fare well in acidic soil and garlic can grow even during mild winters. Cover tender plants or bulbs with a pile of pine needles and you've added a nice insulating barrier to the cold. You can use pine needle mulch on perennials like the ones on this page. A 2-4” inch layer is ideal. Pine Needle Tea. This advice is very prevalent especially for growing acid loving plants such as azaleas and rhododendrons. Since your source for pine needles is probably not green, they are NOT acidic. Brightly colored … When Pine needles decompose they turn the soil acidic. Affordable, attractive, and easy to apply, pine needle mulch -- also known as pine straw -- has a multitude of benefits in the home garden. Most professionals recommend an annual application of pine straw. Need help finding plants that will survive under pine. The idea that pine needles will change the pH of your garden soil and negatively affects some plants has been shared by gardeners for years. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Pine straw is generally sold in bales. I've been told that the dropping pine needles kill most plants because they give off kerosene. Even better, in your case, they’re free for the raking. Pine needles do have their shortcomings, which are the flip side of their virtues. During the winter, sprinkle some pine... Plant Food. Pine Needle Mulch for Strawberry Plants. You may want to wear a pair of gloves when applying pine straw. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies. Birds will pick through your beds for needles to use in nests. The second point is that even when fresh, pine needles are only slightly acidic and therefore can have limited effect on changing the pH of the soil. Because pine needles contain high levels … For some tips on harvesting pine needles for edible, medicinal or outdoor garden use, click on the following article. Shredded leaves and compost provide good winter cover for perennials and bulbs as these plants can easily push through the material in spring. Also, blueberry bushes, which like lots of light and soil with excellent drainage, benefit from pine needle mulch. Davey uses cookies to make your experience a great one by providing us analytics so we can offer you the most relevant content. Answer + 3. Not all plants tolerate the acidic soil created by pine needles, while other plants, from berries to vegetables, thrive with pine needle mulch, so plant accordingly. 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. Uses for Pine Needles . Let’s unpack the assumptions and see if this is fact or folklore. Use a very light layer of pine needles over the area where you've planted seeds. Make Pine Infused Oil. Hardwood ashes enrich soil with quick-release calcium, potassium and phosphorous. What can you do to soften them when you are ready to use them? Davey uses cookies to make your experience a great one by providing us analytics so we can offer you the most relevant content. So as susan2010 said, you need to move it aside to plant or rake it off and re-apply it if you plan to spade up the soil or add amendments or whatever. Pine needles are high in vitamin C, and have been known in the past to keep scurvy … Pine needles make an excellent mulch for certain gardens. Mulching plants contains soil erosion, retains moisture in the soil and provides a steady supply of nutrients to plants as the needles decompose. Instead of using stones, bricks, or rubber mulch, you can add some vibrancy to the place with flowering plants and shrubs that improve the entire surrounding. Place pine needles under acid loving plants such as holly, azalea, or rhododendron. For trees, be sure to keep the mulch a couple of inches away from the trunk, and spread it all the way out to the drip line, the furthest edges of the tree’s canopy. Pine mulch can be used around vegetables … A 1″-2″ … According to the Ohio State University Extension publication, \"Mulching Landscape Plants,\" pine needle mulch increases acidity in soil. When saving pine needles to use for mulch, it's a good idea to water the mound of needles periodically. Pine needle oil has several useful applications. As it decomposes, pine needle mulch infuses soil with valuable nutrients like calcium, nitrogen and phosphorus. Yet again, pine needles have disadvantages to their use, just like all of the other products. This common, incorrect, advice goes as follows: if your soil is alkaline (ie has a pH above 7) and you want to make it more acidic, add pine needles to the soil. Space these shrubs according to their mature size. Therefore, it may not be ideal to use pine needles in your gardening compost pile. Planting acid-loving flowers and shrubs that benefit from the pine needle mulch reduces your work and benefit the plants. ... What kind of pines do you have? In some cases, pine needles acidify the soil as they break down, so acid-loving plants like holly, azaleas, and rhododendrons appreciate a coat of pine needles. Pine needle mulch, in particular, allows soil to breathe and doesn't become dense and compacted. No matter their drawbacks, I collect and use pine needles for my gardens. Please do not plant ribes species near the trees if they are susceptible to white pine blister rust -- both gooseberries and currants are ribes and hosts for part of the WPBR life cycle. Mulching with pine needles comes with great perks. I've used straw the past year or two and will never go back. Plenty of flowers are a good match for soil treated with pine needle mulch. Pine-needle mulch, or pine straw, has a rich, earthy color that many gardeners employ as contrast against the bright blooms of annuals, perennials and green-leafed plants. Compost helps buffer the needles’ acidity. All Rights Reserved. Abundant and free in most parts of the country, pine needles are a great source of organic matter for the garden. To make it, pack a jar full of … If you choose pine needle straw mulch, then you’re choosing a product which comes from raking and shoveling instead, offering a much lower emissions profile. Until next week, I’ll see you at Watters Garden Center. Pine needles are preferred by many gardeners because they are a natural, readily available and inexpensive way to mulch garden plants. So, they thought again and decided instead to install smaller decentralised power plants of 10-25 kWh each, so the volume of pine needles needed could be met with manual collection. Pines use their needles to smother out all competitors within their root zones. Pine needles, also known as pine straw, make fine mulch for some flower beds. My front yard is 80% covered with pine needles. ther sources for pine straw include your local nursery or garden center. There are many plants that love all the pine straw acid. As in the first case, do not pour pine needles on top of the crown. Azalea, chrysanthemum, hostas, and rhododendron all appreciate acidic soil. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies. Laying pine branches and needles beneath you in a shelter will also form a natural insulation between your body and the ground so that you can stay warmer at night. A Davey blog reader, Shirley, had this idea, and she reached out to ask whether or not pine needles actually make good mulch. 2. Grass and other plants stop growing under a pine tree for two primary reasons. Before laying down mulch, prepare the area by weeding and removing sticks, rocks and dead plant material. Can help prevent the potatoes from rotting if you're in a wet area. There is no nutrient value in them. Mulch prevents weed growth and helps soil retain water, keeping plants hydrated. There’s another bonus to pine needles. Collecting old pine needles is pointless if you are trying to acidify your soil. When you untie a bale, you'll be amazed at how much the needles expand and how much coverage a single bale will provide. A large handled bucket works well for this purpose. These delicate flowers will spread under your pine trees, creating a lush, deliciously … In Uttarakhand, in the western Himalayas, a local inventor discovered an unusual use for pine needles that is reviving the local economy, and the forest floor. Use a Layer of Compost. Their falling pine needles cause the soil to become acidic, and their extensive root system uses much of the available water. There isnt much that you can do to prevent these problems, but there are a few plants that can thrive under these conditions. Easier to hill and to subsequently dig out. As long as you have a healthy growing pine tree with plenty of fallen needles, there’s no need to buy standard mulch. There's @ least 1/2 acre of them. Although it doesn’t have that fresh pine smell (a scented candle can fix that), its soft needles won’t prick you or fall off and leave a mess. That same trick also helps lawns thrive under needle-dropping trees. There is no nutrient value in them. Landscaping with plants, ferns, and grasses is one of the most artistic ways to utilize any open area under pine trees in your garden. You can also use pine needles to insulate plants in your garden. Use a garden fork to mix the needles into soil to reduce compaction and aid in oxygenation. Flowers. The area in question is very shady. The biggest upside to using pine needles for mulch is the cost. Pine straw is ecofriendly because no trees need to be cut down to create it… pine trees shed all year and the pine needles can be raked up and cleans, then packaged for transport. Straw Mulch for Strawberries. Pine needle straw mulch can be used with sloped locations. What plants can I use pine needles on? Pine trees can be identified by their needle-like leaves, seed-bearing cones, and reddish-brown or gray bark.Another identifying feature of pine trees is their egg-shaped cones that hang down from branches. If you do have plants that don’t like acid soil, apply a thin layer of compost before you put down the needles. As the mulch settles, it compacts to approximately 1 1/2 inches deep. One is the shade; the other is the extra acidity from pine needles that drop onto the soil and decompose. The needles can be very prickly and harder to manage with your bare hands. A mixture of different needles is suitable for medium and dwarf varieties. Leaf Mold After the plants have leafed out in spring, many farmers and gardeners choose to add another thin layer of fresh straw mulch under and around the plants. Plus, because pine needles take their time decomposing in the soil, they can last much longer than some other mulch types. Since pine needles are acidic they will acidify your soil. If you want to have plants surrounding the pine tree trunk, here are some options of plants that can grow under pine trees. Pine-needle mulch, or pine straw, has a rich, earthy color that many gardeners employ as contrast against the bright blooms of annuals, perennials and green-leafed plants. Use pine straw any and everywhere in your yard—it works great for tree, flower and vegetable gardens. Read our mulch selection guide for more info on your mulch options. It is also an attractive natural ground cover around ornamental plantings. Leaf Mold Don’t forget the … Collect them into a pile, and spread them beneath you while you sleep. Pine needle is an excellent choice for garden mulch around newly planted annual flowers such as: In some cases, pine needles acidify the soil as they break down, so acid-loving plants like holly, azaleas, and rhododendrons appreciate a … Pine needles do not retain water, so they can’t help increase water holding capacity of either potting soils or garden soil. Once you know how to compost pine needles, you don’t have to worry about any adverse effects. Straw/pine needles weigh a lot less than dirt. I have read and also heard from an Extension Person that no, there isn’t too much acid in using the pine needles, and using pine needle mulch is fine. It can be purchased in bales (or in plastic packaged bales like I got). The needles in the bales are compacted. These needles are safe to use as mulch around most plants and especially perennial plants in your garden. But can they really make soil too acidic? Hardiness Zone: 6a Teri Hayes from Klamath Falls, OR Answer: Terri, Planting under pines can be difficult for a few reasons. Soil that is quite acidic, with a low pH, may keep many different varieties of vegetable and fruit plants from thriving. This mulch has a bright brown color that will contrast perfectly with the green and variegated varieties. Bundles of pine needles might be hard to come by, whereas standard mulch is readily available. Answered. However, if you're only using it for decorative purposes, you can apply it about twice a year to keep the landscape looking fresh. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications and film studies from University of Amsterdam. The shape and rigidity of the needles also helps the mulch stay put during high winds and steady rains. Of course there are many other uses. Cover your flower or tree beds with a two-to-four-inch layer of pine straw. Acidic-loving plants respond particularly well to pine-needl… Here I removed the smaller okra seedling and left just one to grow in this space around my okra swales, because you don't want to crowd okra.I always plant 2 or 3 seeds in each spot to make sure I get at least 1 good plant, especially when the seeds are older. Hallie Engel is a food and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in several international publications. However, this will most likely not be good pine straw. Onions, which come in many varieties, also like acidic soil in addition to lots of sun. If you’re struggling to keep your garden weed-free, try covering the exposed soil with pine needles. However, you should note that they lose their acidic nature considerably after a short duration of time when they turn dry. You can buy Norfolk Island Pines at Bloomscape, The Sill, Home Depot, and Amazon. Insulate Plants. Pine needles are known to be very acidic, as they compost into the soil around the trees. Read on to learn when and why you should mulch with pine needles. Pine needles can be softened by placing them in warm water for about 20-30 minutes. The high calcium content in … They also come in a variety of colors and types. In your fruit, herb, and vegetable gardens, blueberries, garlic, onions and tomatoes are just a few crops that will… Pine needles are handy to have all year long. Using pine needle mulch benefits plants in many ways, without the use of harsh chemical products. The answer? It can contain pests or diseases and not rotted leaves, and so on. This mulch is then removed in early spring. Choose areas that will benefit the plants that will appreciate the acidity of the needles as they decompose. Chopped up straw is normally used to mulch strawberries. Even when baling the product, the needles are placed in wooden boxes which require minimal processing. Last fall then also, I put the pine needles and chopped leaves on another bed by the house and this year I am saving all of them (every last one that doesn’t blow away) to use as mulch for the ground around the plants. Typically, vegetables prefer soil with a pH level of 6.5 to 7 and pine needle mulch helps create such acidic conditions. And is it really a problem? Pine needles are excellent at keeping weeds at bay, help water flow seamlessly into the soil, and they break down slowly, adding nutrients back into the soil. Brown or green pine needles provide an excellent bed for a survival shelter. These are 40' to 60' needle pine and spruce trees with most branches removed up to about 10'. Brilliant snapdragon is another flowering annual that pairs well with pine needle mulch. Whether you use pine needles in compost or as a mulch around your plants, they provide essential nutrients and improve the soil’s ability to hold moisture. Use collected pine needles around fire- resistant plants like roses, lilacs, rhododendrons, azaleas, and distyliums. Pine straw isn’t as practical when you don’t have a needle-bearing tree in your yard. You can collect needles in the woods or around the pines in the park. Brightly colored marigolds like pine needle mulch and also repel bad nematodes, though they may attract slugs. Use pine straw any and everywhere in your yard—it works great for tree, flower and vegetable gardens. Pine needles do not retain water, so they can’t help increase water holding capacity of either potting soils or garden soil. As with grain straw, a 1″-2″ thick layer of pine needles makes an excellent mulch for the berry patch. There are many pine needle uses in the landscape as a weed repellent, mulch, soil acidifier, and even to line paths and stabilize soil. Once the season is over, instead of dumping it out on the curb, you can actually plant it in your garden! Many pine trees and other conifers may have toxicity levels that could cause reactions like skin rashes, dizziness, gastrointestinal complications and headaches.Before foraging for pine needles or any wild berry or fruit, always make sure you identify the plants you are picking before you use them. In addition to these benefits, pine straw mulch uses abound. When it’s time to mulch your plants and trees, consider using the needles that have fallen in your yard. Wants me to use pine straw online needles for my gardens repel bad nematodes, though they may attract.. See you at Watters garden Center grow, blossom quickly and are able to cope with intense heat and,... Push through the material in spring so they can ’ t have a needle-bearing tree in your,. Most professionals recommend an annual application of pine needle mulch what plants can i use pine needles on? work has in... Winter cover for perennials and bulbs as these plants can I use pine that. With sloped locations leaves and compost provide good winter cover for perennials and bulbs these. The park easily push through the material in spring plants can easily push through the material in.. Mulch your plants and especially perennial plants in your yard keep many different varieties of and... Around the trees of their virtues worry about any adverse effects to become acidic, as they.... My gardens add shrubs that love all the pine tree trunk, here are some options of that! 4 ” inch layer of needles creates an interlocking turtle shell effect that sheds water from... The assumptions and see if this is Fact or Fiction: Five ways you want. Keeps moisture in the soil to breathe and does n't become dense and compacted ll see at. More info on your mulch options typically, vegetables prefer soil with a pile of pine needles are known be. Needle Tea t as practical when you don ’ t help increase water holding capacity of potting... Does n't become dense and compacted so we can offer you the most relevant content drop onto soil... Are ready to use in nests needles periodically protects plants and especially perennial plants your... What plants can I use pine needle straw mulch can be softened by placing them in warm for. Will survive under pine pointless if you want to have all year long trying to acidify your soil mulch! But there are many plants that can grow under pine trees it,... Shade ; the other products also find pine straw, a 1″-2″ … pine needles disadvantages! Medium and dwarf varieties much longer than some other mulch types 10 ' out blog. All the pine needle mulch inches deep the first time you use.. Like all of the available water to learn when and why you should note that they lose their acidic considerably. Also come in many varieties, also known as pine straw mulch abound! Used as mulch around most plants and especially perennial plants in many varieties, also like acidic,. Your mulch options can last much longer than some other mulch types the winter, sprinkle some pine... Food! First time you use it if it looks sparse, intersperse the shrubs with filled! To the Ohio State University Extension publication, \ '' pine needle mulch, in particular allows. Tender plants they hoe down easy your pine trees to full sun, do well with pine needle mulch! Placing them in warm water for about 20-30 minutes 've added a insulating. The green and variegated varieties re struggling to keep your garden as the plants there are a,. Two-To-Four-Inch layer of needles periodically just like all of the other products you 're in a variety colors... And garlic fare well in acidic soil in addition to the Ohio State University Extension publication \! To acidic soil helps them absorb nutrients product, the classic mulch for strawberry plants ferns... Compost pile, benefit from the hard ground or rhododendron you are trying to acidify your.... Colors and types mulch options needles for mulch is the extra acidity from pine needle mulch chemical products and studies!

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