Pine needles vs mulch for flower beds? - Homesteading Today
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Old 03/05/08, 10:24 AM
Mom_of_Four's Avatar
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Pine needles vs mulch for flower beds?

Hi everyone! First post in this forum...

We always used wood mulch in our flowerbeds when we lived in New England, but here in NC everyone uses pine needles. I don't really like the looks of it, but I wonder why it's popular here. Is it cheaper, or lasts longer? Or maybe it is better with the pH of the soil?

We need to get to work in the yard, so we'll have to make a decision to replace the current pine needles or just add more on top.

Thanks!

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Old 03/05/08, 11:14 AM
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I've lived here all my life and most folks do use pine needles, or pinestraw. Not sure why unless it is not hard to find. If you buy it its Not cheap. Lot of folks go in the woods they own or have permission, and rake it and haul it home. We used to get it buy the big wagon loads to put on tobacco beds for weed control plus keeping the plants off the soil. Sawdust has been available but termites love it and will move right in your house or buildings if given the chance. In my opinion there is nothing better than pinestraw around strawberries. It dosen't stay wet and keeps the berries off the ground. LOL I hate to loose even one strawberry, They are tooo GOOD. Eddie

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Old 03/05/08, 11:41 AM
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Thanks Eddie! Maybe termites are the main reason people use pine needles or straw. We're still learning how to be Southerners, lol!

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Old 03/05/08, 12:45 PM
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Yeah, what Eddie said. Plus, you would find in the hot, humid south that bark mulch will decay and disintigrate by the end of the autumn, and you'll be back down to bare dirt. Pine straw takes a lot longer to break down, sometimes close to a year where it's matted thick. It also doesn't float off if you get heavy rains like bark mulch does. My favorite reason is that it looks much more natural in the southern environment than bark does. I'm big into native plants, and the pine straw makes the yard blend into the woods and natural landscape. And like Eddie said, dirt doesn't splash up through it like happens with bark mulch. It's just cleaner looking.

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Old 03/05/08, 12:48 PM
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Thanks Rose...

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Old 03/05/08, 10:51 PM
 
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Availability....cheaper than bags of mulch, a bale of pinestraw covers more than a bag of mulch.

Also, easier to use.

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Old 03/06/08, 08:59 AM
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Around here there are tree farms with longleaf pines planted in rows for future logging and also for raking and bailing pinestraw from now until they are ready to be logged. Longleaf pine are beautiful trees to me. Eddie

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