All Things Gardening forum: Pine needle mulch

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Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Nov 27, 2014 11:38 AM CST
The last two trips north my mom has brought up bales of pine needle mulch for my neighbor who has an extensive hosta collection.....and slug problem. It worked so well for her I decided to try it. One of my other neighbors has three large pines that border my yard. I usually grumble about the pine needles on my yard. Now I am thankful for them! It was an extra large harvest since we had that wind storm in the beginning of the week.


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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 27, 2014 11:55 AM CST
DD used to live in Charleston, SC. They almost exclusively use pine needles as mulch around their beds there. Good acid, if you have azaleas or other acid lovers.
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Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Nov 27, 2014 12:09 PM CST
Actually, the acidity was one of the reasons I was hesitant to use them at first. But then I read that brown dry pine needles' acidity was negligible. I don't remember where I read that and I have no idea if it is true. Either way, I figured I would give it a shot in the few areas where I have slug issues.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Nov 27, 2014 12:57 PM CST

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We use pine needles a lot. It's readily available in our forests and we just rake up a truckload whenever we need some. Works great.

As for the acidity, it is no worse than mulching with oak leaves.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Nov 27, 2014 2:47 PM CST
I'd bet the acidity is negligible, just as it is with coffee grounds but some people will always choose to believe they're acidic. Just the look of pine needles is so pleasing to me and even though we have to buy ours, it's worth it.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Nov 27, 2014 3:04 PM CST
I'm sure I could get even more if I asked my neighbors if I could rake their yard
[Last edited by jvdubb - Nov 27, 2014 3:04 PM (+)]
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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Horntoad
Nov 27, 2014 3:07 PM CST
I found this article about their acidity.
http://www.gardenmyths.com/pine-needles-acidify-your-soil/
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Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

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frankrichards16
Nov 27, 2014 3:08 PM CST
I pine for needles as well...
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Nov 27, 2014 3:22 PM CST
My neighbor used to spend money for the (in my opinion) ugly red mulch. He laughed at my pine needle driveway. One night I caught him raking up all the pine needle that had fallen in the road. Ha, he now has beautiful pine needle mulch on all his plantings - conserves moisture, doesn't allow as many insects to find refuge, and sure looks beautiful to me. Best part is that the pine needle mulch is free.
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Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Nov 27, 2014 3:58 PM CST
Jay thank you for that link !!! Great info
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Nov 27, 2014 4:54 PM CST
Coffee ground testing showing they are not acidic either. Just ignore those who insist they are acidic.
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Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Coppice
Nov 29, 2014 2:10 PM CST
The only problem with using pine duff, is it is often the only thing the pine tree has to eat. Take enough of it, often enough and the pine will decline.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Nov 29, 2014 2:23 PM CST
Well, in my case it isn't feeding the trees it came from
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Dec 2, 2014 7:03 AM CST
I have a friend with a ton of pine trees and he told us we could rake up as many pine needles as we wanted so maybe this time when I visit jen I won't have to pay for them!

It took me awhile to get used to the look of pine needles for mulch but now I agree, they look nice.
Name: Jeanie
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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foraygardengirl
Dec 2, 2014 7:40 AM CST
Love love love pine needles. I have some Swiss stone pines that drop needles every fall. I take part of the drop each season and use them wherever I want to suppress weeds, and I put some around my hydrangeas. I just planted a rhodie last spring and I am putting the needles around that also. Whether acid or not, they are great mulch. I personally like the look, but you could put them under your other bark or whatever mulch if you don't like the appearance. These are absolutely the best weed suppressors I have ever found.
:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:
Old gardeners never die. They are just pruned and repotted.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Dec 2, 2014 7:55 AM CST
I am loving the look where I put them. But I am wondering if the rabbits will like them for nesting.
Name: Jeanie
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Replace your lawn with a garden!
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Bee Lover Sedums
Hostas Dog Lover Xeriscape Region: Minnesota Heucheras Butterflies
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foraygardengirl
Dec 2, 2014 4:04 PM CST
You should see the rabbit tracks in my yard...the snow looks like a massive herd of small buffalo on skies went through it. I see no concentration of tracks near the pine needle mulched areas. They do like to hang under my blue spruce, but there is nothing on the ground there. I think I'm going to have to try live trapping or I will have nothing left by spring.
:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:
Old gardeners never die. They are just pruned and repotted.

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