Answer: It is often very difficult to grow grass under these trees because the trees rob the area of moisture, light and nutrients. The fallen pine needles year after year can also make the soil quite acid. In a way this is the tree's method of protecting itself. If you feel the need to plant something, then a ground cover which is more tolerant of adverse conditions is probably a better choice than lawn. Ivy (Hedera helix) is one of the most resiliant ground covers and would be a good choice. You might however expect the ivy to scamble over the pine needles without necessarily achieving solid coverage because the conditions are so demanding. This can be quite beautiful.
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