Ask a Question forum: Old pine needles and acidity

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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
Jun 4, 2014 8:04 AM CST
Every fall when I rake up my dried leaves I shred them and store them in bins to add to my soil mix for planting. One area of my trees borders the neighbors pine trees. So I get quite a bit of pine needles in with the leaves from there. I don't know the type of pine but they are the really long needles.

Will these pine needles significantly raise the acidity of my soil mix? I'm inclined to think not that much. But maybe I should be added some lime to balance it???

I should also bring up that I do add some Canadian peat so my soil mix also to lighten it up. I have never used lime before but perhaps the combination of the needles and peat could change things this year.

Thanks in advance!
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jun 4, 2014 8:30 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Any leaves will produce an acidifying effect as they break down. I have heard that pine needles are no worse than oak leaves.

I used to stress about pH a great deal and it never really got me anywhere. These days I focus on good soil and I no longer worry about pH. Use the leaves and needles, is my advice. If things get too acidic, just add some lime.
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
Image
jvdubb
Jun 4, 2014 9:05 AM CST
Ah, I did not realize the leaves would also add to the acidity. I have always done that and it does not seem to be a problem. So I will take your advice and not stress about it!
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
dave
Jun 4, 2014 9:17 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

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