Pine straw, as the name implies, derives from pine trees, which is the needles shed throughout the year. Pine straw is an environmentally friendly option for landscaping enhancement and mulching material needs as the pine needles are harvested as they naturally drop to the ground. They are collected by being hand-raked where they will be cleaned and baled; sparing the tree from harm. When pine straw is applied correctly, it has several advantages that include preventing water evaporation from the soil, reducing weed growth as well as contributing to the prevention of soil compaction and erosion. Additionally, the pine straw will offer the plants protection from freezing conditions by stabilizing the temperature of the surrounding soil. This is especially beneficial to new plants that have a shallow root system. Pine straw will also improve the soil structure as it deteriorates. There are different types of pine straw depending on region and the coverage will be dictated by the bale size, type of pine straw and the depth of application. Milam’s Tree Service would like to take the opportunity to discuss more about pine straw mulch and decorative uses today.
How to Spread Pine Straw Like a Pro
When it comes to the application of pine straw, experts recommend annual application unless you are using for decorative purposes, where twice a year is optimal to keep your landscaping looking fresh. When applying the pine straw, wearing a pair of glove is advised because the needles are very prickly and can be a challenge for bare hands to manage. For simple application, remove the bale ties and shake handfuls of the pine straw in the designated area. You want to place approximately 3 inches of depth and add an inch for proper maintenance.
What to Do with Fallen Pine Needles
Decorative Uses: Preventing weed growth is the primary goal and enhancing the beauty of landscaping with ground cover is an aesthetic advantage to pine straw. As mentioned, applying the pine straw 3” thick is ideal, especially in shady areas. This technique is especially enriching for areas that are not paved such as lining walkways and seating areas and around benches.
Mulching Trees, Shrubs & Gardens: Pine straw is an ideal mulch to drip line your plant life. Ensure that it is kept 2-3 inches away from the base of your plants, bushes, and trees. They are an excellent source of acidic compounds as the break down they will slightly acidify into the soil.
Pine Needle Mulch Tips
– Pine straw only takes a short time to settle after application; spread the straw 3 inches of thickness in the application area.
– About a foot beyond the bed edge, spread the straw.
– By either raking or using a leaf blower, roll the edges of the straw to give a professional touch to the finished project.
– To give an area a fresh, neat appearance, lay the pine straw down any time of year.
– Be sure to clean and weed the area, apply a weed preventer and finish up pruning and trimming of existing trees and shrubs before you apply your pine straw.