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Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
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orchidgal
Nov 9, 2014 9:51 AM CST
A neighbor has access to a lot of pine needles and wants to use it as a mulch around his palm trees. I told him to keep it away from the trunk and not too thick. I don't think the slight acidity would be of concern. Am I right ? Someone else told him not to do this.
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Eeyore
Name: alex
southern missouri. (Zone 6b)
Container Gardener Cactus and Succulents Herbs Plant and/or Seed Trader
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alex22ccc
Nov 9, 2014 12:18 PM CST
if you really want to test if a type of "mulch" is harmful.. take a plant thats in a pot, that you dont really care much for.. pile your new "mulch" in the pot / around the plant.. water normally for 2 weeks or so, and see if any negative effects occur. just an idea :P

but i have also heard bad things about doing it.. id avoid it just to be safe
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Nov 9, 2014 12:52 PM CST
I agree with you Elfie. The mulch should not be piled up against the trunk to avoid fungus/insect damage to the palm. It is best to keep the mulch about 5-6 inches back from the base and should be spread loosely no more than 2 to 4 inches thick over the surrounding area. We have lots of pines in our area and use both pine needles and fine pine bark mulch throughout the garden.

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/growing-palms-pine-needle-mulch...

http://www.pbcgov.com/newsroom/0214/02-03-14-mulch.htm
[Last edited by Moonhowl - Nov 10, 2014 11:53 AM (+)]
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 9, 2014 9:47 PM CST
Elfie, generally speaking, along the coastline of Fl. our soil tends to actually benefit from some acid mulch. As long as he keeps the pine straw back from touching the trunk I would say he should use it. I have used pine straw mulch & love it. It's easy to work with & stays put, doesn't float & doesn't tend to blow away.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Hibiscus Sempervivums Sedums Dragonflies
Herbs Roses Foliage Fan Annuals Cut Flowers Ferns
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orchidgal
Nov 9, 2014 10:40 PM CST
Good -- I will see if he can get me some also.
“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen”
Eeyore
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Nov 10, 2014 9:05 AM CST
In natural areas, like where we go camping in a state park nature preserve in FL, pine needles are the main source of 'natural mulch.' There are tons of pine trees, some oaks, and various palms, all surrounded with tons of pine needles. A natural, native situation.

If used alone, they take a long time to degrade because they are so 'fluffy' and dry so quickly. For the first year or 2, until there develops a layer of much smaller, mostly and partially degraded bits that fit much more closely together, pine needles don't offer much in the way of moisture moderation and/or weed suppression. Stepping all over them after laying them would help flatten them somewhat, helping them to stay more moist and degrade more quickly.

If it's possible to add some leaves to the pine needles, the results would probably much more enjoyable/successful, more quickly. Organic matter degrades much more quickly when moist, and adding leaves would help with that (as well as balance the acidity, depending on the type of leaves.) Adding grass from mower bag when possible would also help. (Mow before grass forms any seeds to do this.)

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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Nov 10, 2014 9:46 AM CST
I agree
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 10, 2014 11:31 AM CST
I agree too.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Hibiscus Sempervivums Sedums Dragonflies
Herbs Roses Foliage Fan Annuals Cut Flowers Ferns
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orchidgal
Nov 10, 2014 12:03 PM CST
Thank you all for the input. Thumbs up
“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen”
Eeyore

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