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pine needle mulch?  RSS feed

 
Thomas warren
Posts: 69
Location: Yakima County, E WA
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One of my neighbors has a front yard completely covered in pine needles and I'm thinking of asking them if I could borrow all of them.
Is there any complications to using pine needle mulch?
My soil is slightly on the alkaline side by itself.
 
Jonathan Davis
Posts: 19
Location: North Central Ohio
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I have 3 very large pine trees in the back portion of my yard and have been using pine needles and cones as mulch for my magnolias, azaleas, and rhododendrons. I also use needles and cones for mulching my blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Once those things are completed, I gather and save the rest of the cones and needles in an opentop container an allow them to dry out in my garage. I use them to start outdoor patio fires. Throw some dried needles and cones into the bottom of a fire pit with wood on top and you can usually get the fire going with a match! You can also put needles into the compost bin, as long as you don't get too crazy with the ratios.
 
Thomas warren
Posts: 69
Location: Yakima County, E WA
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What kind of ratio would you use?
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 2990
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Hau, Thomas, you mention your soil is slightly alkaline, do you know what the pH is at this time?

Most plants do very well in a pH of 6.5 + or - .2 If your current pH is within this range (which is slightly alkaline) then the addition of pine needles may tip it closer to or over 7.0 (neutral soil pH).

Composting pine needles with manures and greens could be a great way to use them, again it will depend on pH. One way to use a lot of them, and not have big worries about garden soil pH is to use them for pathways
as already mentioned, any acid loving plantings will benefit from a mulching of pine needles.
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 406
Location: Georgia
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I live in a pine forest basically and I worried about using the pine needles.
They have worked very well in my flower beds and the vegetable garden.
Walter Reeves "the Georgia Gardener" says they are not acidic as they break
down. His website would have info on it.

The soil I started with was so bad I figured there was no point in testing it.
At this point, a few years in, it is beginning to come along and I wonder how
it would test. I am trying to follow Paul's recommendation to not import
amendments. I don't generate enough leaves of deciduous trees to mulch
my whole vegetable garden. So pine needles come in handy.
 
Ronnie Ugulano
Posts: 66
Location: Zone 9, CA
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We have 2 huge 60+ year old deodar trees that constantly drop needles. We decided to cover all bare areas with pine needles, and it works out pretty well. To do the original cover, we had to grab the needles from the guy down the block that had a deodar tree of his own, but now the trees keep up with never ending replacements.
 
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