The Q&A Archives: Shade From Pine Tree

Question: We have a large pine tree in the front of the house which is at a westerly exposure. We have trouble growing grass there and we're wondering if the pine needles would be harmful, or beneficial, if we went with a ground cover in the bare spots while also planting a shady perennial flower garden.

Answer: The problem is with the shade, not the pine needles. Turfgrass requires full sun to thrive. Pine needles are acidic and a good source of organic matter when added to compost piles or garden beds. The Shady Oaks Nursery (1-800-504-8006, catalog is packed with ideas and information about gardening in the shade. Good luck!

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