Mulching with pine needles:Good or Bad?

itzybitzy_gw(7NC)May 10, 2011

wondering if anyone has experience with pine needle mulch around vegetable garden. I borrowed some pine mulch from my tree and as I was aplying it on my vegetable garden I notice it smell like pine so I don't know if this is a good thing or not?Thanks.

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denninmi(8a)

IMHO, it's excellent. I'd take all I could get. If you have acidic soil already, you might need to add some lime to counteract the acidity in the pine needles, but most regions of the country don't have acidic soils.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 12:06PM
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madferret(UK 8b-9a)

I've used pine needle mulch on everything from fruit trees to chilli seedlings and have no ill effects, they retain the water well (by stoping evaporation) and dont blow about in the wind.

Regards
Nick

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 12:27PM
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ltilton

I go over to my neighbors every year and rake up their pine straw to mulch my blueberries.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 12:30PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

It's a great mulch as long as you aren't using it to cover seeds. Pine straw has proven to have allelopathic properties that affect the seed germination of certain species of plants.

When applied over seedlings and plants, it may help deter the germination of some weeds!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 1:16PM
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dicot

It's okay alone, I still prefer it mixed with bark, twigs and leaf mold. Then there are little to no drawbacks with it.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 2:21PM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

Love it. It really seems to stay where you put it. It breaks down really slowly, so by pushing it aside to plant, you do get more than one season out of it (or at least I do) with a little augmentation.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 4:49PM
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Trill

I get bags and bags of pine needles every time we visit family in East Texas, and I mulch everything with them. So far no problems. Works great around potatos, tomatoes, strawberries and really, my entire veggie garden. Also around flowers and shrubs. The best thing is it is all free for the taking!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 10:50PM
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itzybitzy_gw(7NC)

Thanks you guys I apreciate the feed back.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 9:03AM
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gardenman101(Z6 Spingfield, Ma)

Now all I have to do is find a place where I can take it from, Leagally.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 12:30AM
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growinidaho

I mulch with pine needles. They work great but wear gloves. I did my onions last night. We live in the mtns so they are plentiful here. We like to find a place with lots of trees then rake them into piles near the road/trail so you can just rake them up into the truck. I put them between the rows too. After you walk on them for a yr they get broken so you can take handfuls out of the foot paths to reuse if needed...just sprinkle on. Also makes the foot paths softer for when you are on your knees!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 8:42AM
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Frankie_in_zone_7

Pine straw makes a kind of unique mulch for veggies in that it does not break down fast and so you can't expect to "dig it in" after a season. So as susan2010 said, you need to move it aside to plant or rake it off and re-apply it if you plan to spade up the soil or add amendments or whatever. OTOH it is easy to do that, as it is both fluffy and matted together and much easier to grab and set aside and then pile back on than other more durable mulches like bark nuggets or something.

So, in one of my veggie areas that I turn over several times a year and keep very fertile with amendments for things that like rich soil, I usually use shredded leaves or compost for mulch, and I "save" my pine straw for mulching under shrubs and places I don't disturb much. But that's because I have some of this and some of that. If you have access to a large amount, by all means it is a good mulch.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 12:12PM
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ffreidl

I collect them at vacant parcels of land. I don't take much from any one spot at a time so that it doesn't affect any forest processes (or make anyone mad). I think it's a great mulch for strawberries, tomatoes, lettuces, (and blueberries, obviously).

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 12:46PM
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