Spring Garden Tips
Evergreen Needles Good for the Garden

Put pine, spruce and other evergreen needles to work in the garden.

JavaScript is disabled!
To display this content, you need a JavaScript capable browser.

mgm audio 569 evergreen needlesEvergreen needles don't make the soil too acidic. They do, however, add organic matter and nutrients to the soil as they break down. And a look under your evergreens confirms they're a great mulch. The lack of plants and weeds growing under evergreens is due to the lack of light, limited soil moisture and the weed suppressing needle mulch.

So spread a layer of evergreen needles around trees, shrubs, flowers and edibles to suppress weeds and conserve moisture. They are free and look good in the landscape.

Evergreen needles can also be added to the compost pile. Limit them to about 10% of the mixture for faster composting. The evergreen needles have a waxy covering, are very dry and take a long time to decompose, making them great as a mulch, but less so for fast composting results.

A bit more information: Many gardeners are reluctant to use oak and large maple leaves as mulch or in their gardens. These are great additives, but slow to break down. Shred them with your mower or leaf shredder before using them as a mulch or adding them to the compost pile.

Share
 

Related Garden Moments for Radio

A Beautiful Garden Starts with a Soil Test

Listen to Garden Moment...

An Evergreen Harvest - Cooking with Spruce

A long time favorite in Europe, spruce shoot syrup and beer are gaining popularity in North America. The tender new growth of spruce, pines and firs were also used by Native Americans and early settlers for food and medicine.

Read more...

Anthracnose on Ash, Maple and Oaks

Irregular shaped brown spots on the leaves of maple, ash, oak and sycamore trees could mean your tree has anthracnose. This disease is caused by several different fungi and is common in years with cool wet springs.

Read more...

Attracting Beneficial Insects to Your Garden

Join forces with nature and keep garden pests under control this season.

Listen to Attracting Beneficial Garden Insects...

Attractive Year Round Screening

How many evergreens do I need to screen the view of my neighbor's house? This is a common question raised by gardeners across the country.

Read more...

Balsam Fir Christmas Tree

The smell of a freshly cut balsam fir is a fragrant part of many holiday celebrations.

Read more...

Blossom End Rot on Tomatoes

It's finally here! Your first red tomato. You reach in, twist it off the vine and have a look. And there it is - a big black spot on the bottom of the tomato.

Listen to Spots on Tomatoes...

Boxelder Bugs Congregating on the House

Fall has different meaning for each of us; back to school, warm fires, fall color. But anyone with a boxelder tree in their neighborhood may be thinking about the boxelder bug invasion.

Read more...

Brown Needles and Leaves on Evergreens

A walk through your garden this spring may reveal browning on both needled and broadleaf evergreen trees and shrubs.

Read more...

Caring for Bare Root Plants

You decided to save money or perhaps try something new and ordered bare root plants from a catalog or through the internet. Now you are wondering what to do with them once they arrive.

Listen to Caring for Plants...

Carnations for Mother's Day

Mother’s Day and flowers go hand-in-hand and this is especially true of the carnation.

Listen to Carnations for Mother's Day...

Cedar - Birth Tree for February 9-18

If you or a friend celebrates your birthday between February 9th and 18th your birth tree is the Cedar. You are said to have rare beauty, know how to adapt, like luxury, and are confident.

Read more...

Celebrate Arbor Day

Celebrate Arbor Day by planting new trees or caring for your established ones in your landscape and community.

Listen to Celebrate Arbor Day...

Celebrate Earth Day - Everyday

Make everyday Earth Day and commit to managing your landscape and gardens in tune with nature.

Listen to Celebrate Earth Day - Everyday...

Celebration Maple

Add seasonal color and shade to your landscape with Celebration maple. This fast grower provides beauty with less maintenance.

Read more...

Colorado Blue Spruce

Colorado blue spruce are a favorite tree of many gardeners. Their bluish green needles and pyramidal shape are a nice addition to the landscape. But several diseases can kill branches and distort their beauty.

Read more...

Colorful Arborvitae

Evergreens don't have to be - just green. Add a bit of seasonal color with one of these arborvitaes.

Read more...

Compost - It's Simple

Save time and money by turning landscape trimmings into a valuable soil amendment.

Listen to Composting...

Create an Exotic Garden in Your Favorite Container

Bring a bit of the desert, tropics or evergreen forest to your backyard. Container plantings allow you to push the limits of your growing environment.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Create Your Own Holiday Centerpiece

Don’t let the holiday rush and winter weather ruin your holiday party. Take a few minutes to walk through your garden and gather a few items to create a holiday centerpiece.

Listen to Create a Holiday Centerpiece...

Cucumber Beetles and Bacterial Wilt

Your cucumber plants start out great and suddenly wilt and seem to die overnight. The problem is bacterial wilt, but the real culprit is the yellow and green striped, banded or spotted cucumber beetle.

Read more...

Cytospora Canker on Spruce Trees

Your blue spruce is just reaching maturity when suddenly needles start turning a purplish brown and eventually the branch dies. The problem may be Cytospora canker.

Listen to Cytospora Canker on Spruce Trees...

Dealing with Surface Roots

Avoid dulling your mower blades and more importantly damaging your trees by creatively dealing with the surface roots.

Listen to Dealing with Surface Roots...

Dividing Overgrown and Floppy Perennials

Overcrowded, poor flowering and floppy perennials can be invigorated with a shovel and a bit of your time and energy.

Listen to Garden Moment..

DIY Tree Watering Device

Be sure to keep your most expensive living landscape investment thriving for years to come. Properly water and mulch your trees for their health and longevity.

Listen to DIY Tree Watering Device...

Dog Vomit Mold Fungus

It’s foamy, slimy and rather disgusting to look at. And nothing describes it better than its common name – dog vomit mold fungus.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Drought Care for Trees

Don’t forget the trees, even old established ones, when extended dry periods and droughts move in.

Listen to Drought Care for Trees...

Eco-friendly Control of Fungus Gnats

Don’t worry if you notice small fruit fly-like insects flitting across the room. It is not a sign of bad housekeeping nor are they harmful to your plants.

Listen to Eco-friendly Control for fungus Gnats...

Edging Garden Beds

Boost your landscape’s looks and reduce maintenance with the help of a straight edge shovel and a bit of your time.

Listen to Edging Garden Beds...

Evergreen ID - Look for an Evergreen Day (Dec. 19)

December 19th is National Look for an Evergreen Day. Don't worry if you already have your holiday tree; take advantage of this unique holiday to get outside and look at the evergreens in your neighborhood.

Listen to... Evergreen ID

Expand Your Plant Collection with Cane Cuttings

Improve your plants' appearance and expand your houseplant collection by starting new plants from cane cuttings.

Read more...

Expanding Garden Beds, Chemical-free

If each year you find yourself trying to squeeze more plants into less space, it may just be time to expand one or more of your planting beds.

Listen to Expanding Garden Beds, Chemical Free...

Fall and Winter Care for Groundcovers

Falling leaves make a great mulch in the woods, but can spell death for groundcovers and the lawn. Make clean up easy for you and good for the environment.

Listen to Groundcovers Winter Care...

Fall Soil Preparation

As the summer growing season winds down, it’s a great time to prepare your landscape for next season. Start with a soil test. The results can save you money and the environment.

Listen to Fall Soil Preparation...

Faster Results with Trees and Shrubs

It's hard to imagine and even harder to wait for that stick of a tree or small potted shrub to grow into a much larger and beautiful addition to the landscape. But we can help speed up the process.

Read more...

Five Minute Garden Maintenance

Improve your garden’s beauty, increase your enjoyment, and reduce stress five minutes at a time.

Listen to Garden Maintenance...

Flaky Growths (Lichens) on Trees and Shrubs

Don't panic when you find flaky gray, green, white or yellow substances, known as lichens, on the trunk or branches of your trees and shrubs. These growths do not damage the plant, but may indicate your tree and shrub needs a bit of TLC.

Read more...

Flowers Fail to Bloom

Summer heat and drought can be hard on our plants and impact our gardens beauty and productivity. We can’t change the weather but we can help our plants through these stressful times.

Listen to Flowers Fail to Bloom...

From the Landscape to Holiday Decorations

Add a personal touch to your holidays by creating decorations from evergreens, berries, cones and seedpods harvested from your landscape.

Read more...

Garden Math - Ordering Mulch and Topsoil

Don’t end up with a driveway full of excess topsoil and mulch waiting for friends and family to haul away the surplus for their gardens. Do a bit of math in advance and order just the amount needed.

Listen to Ordering Mulch and Topsoil...

Garden Terms: Frost Heaving & Winter Mulch

Gardening books and magazines are filled with terms and techniques that may be new to you or unique to certain gardening climates. Frost heaving and winter mulch are two terms you may have stumbled upon in your search for gardening information.

Read more...

Gardening on a Budget

We are all looking for ways to make our dollars go further. And that includes landscaping and gardening projects.

Read more...

Gift of Gardening for Father's Day

Give your dad the gift of your time and energy while being kind to the environment.

Listen to Gift of Gardening for Father's Day...

Green and Easy Landscape Care

Being kind to the environment does not have to be difficult. In fact, it can save you time and money.

Listen to Green and Easy Landscape Care...

Grow a Container Garden Filled with Evergreens

Whether gardening on a balcony or an acre lot – there is always room for an evergreen. The many new dwarf varieties available make it easy for everyone, even balcony gardeners, to include evergreens in their landscape.

Listen to Evergreen Container Garden...

Growing Holly

A traditional element in holiday decor, holly plants also provide beauty year round in the landscape.

Read more...

Holly

The beautiful evergreen foliage and bright red berries make holly a popular plant in holiday arrangements and our winter landscape.

Listen to Holly in holiday arrangements...

Landscaping with Evergreens

Evergreens provide more than year round greenery. Find new and interesting ways to include them in your landscape.

Listen to Landscaping with Evergreens...

Leaf Browning, Scorch on Hostas and Other Shade Plants

Brown leaf edges are common on hostas and other shade lovers when the temperatures rise or the sun is too intense.

Read more...

Less Mowing and Hand Trimming, Better for You and Your Landscape

Eliminate hand trimming around garden statues, playsets, narrow spaces and individual trees and shrubs. Invest a bit of time now to eliminate time spent on these tasks in the future.

Read more...

Limbing Up (pruning lower branches) Trees

Put away the saw and enjoy the beauty of your mature evergreen.

Listen to Limbing Up (pruning lower branches) Trees...

Low Maintenance Eco-Friendly Garden Tips

Reduce maintenance and be kind to the environment with a few simple changes in your gardening practices.

Be waterwise. Reduce water use by growing drought tolerant plants and mulching the soil to conserve water. And always water thoroughly and only when needed to encourage deep, more drought tolerant roots.

Read more...

Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Garden Looking Its Best

Keep your plants looking their best and weeds under control with just a few adjustments to your gardening.

Read more...

Managing Boxelder Bugs

Black and orange bugs congregated on the sunny side of your house in fall are likely boxelder bugs. They are not harmful to plants and people, but certainly are annoying.

Read more...

Managing Early Sprouting Bulbs

A break in the cold winter temperatures can be a welcome reprieve for gardeners, but not such a good thing for our spring flowering bulbs.

Listen to Managing Early Sprouting Bulbs...

Managing Fall Leaves

Put away the rake and break out the mower. That’s right you can recycle your leaves right where they fall.

Listening to Managing Fall Leaves...

March Big Tree of the Month, White Oak

The featured big tree this month is the 400-year-old white oak that was growing in Wye Oak State Park in Maryland.

Read more...

Monitor and Adjust Tree Care

Improve the health and longevity of your trees and shrubs with a bit of preventative care.

Listen to Tree Care...

More Plants with Good Fall Color

Now is a good time to make sure your garden provides a colorful finale to the growing season.

Listen to Plants with Good Fall Colors...

Mulch Your Way to a Beautiful Low Maintenance Garden

Summers are filled with barbeques, vacations, and caring for our landscapes. Mulching is one way to save time and effort over a season or two, giving you more time for fun.

Listen to Garden Moment..

Mulch, Don't Bag Those Grass Clippings

Save yourself time and energy and improve the look of your lawn by mulching not bagging your grass clippings.

Listen to Don't Bag those Clippings - Mulch...

Mulching

Save time and energy and keep your landscape looking its best with mulch.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Narrow (Columnar) Trees for Any Size Landscape

Don’t let a lack of space keep you from growing trees in your landscape. Consider planting columnar trees in containers and narrow spaces.

Listen to Narrow Trees for any Landscape...

National Bird Day - Time to Plan a Bird Garden

Bird watching and gardening go hand in hand. Celebrate National Bird Day, January 5th, by taking a moment to stop and observe the birds visiting your garden.

Listen to... National Bird Day

Needle Cast on Spruce

Purple needles turning brown and branches dying on spruce may mean the tree is infected with needle cast fungal disease.

Read more...

Needles Yellowing and Dropping on Evergreens

Don't worry if your evergreen has yellow or brown needles all along the trunk. This is a common occurrence called seasonal needle drop.

Listen to Evergreen Needles Yellowing ...

No Tomatoes? Check the Weather

No fruit on your tomato plants? Blame it on the weather. Tomatoes thrive in warm sunny conditions; but temperature extremes can prevent otherwise healthy plants from setting fruit.

Read more...

Planting a Garden...Jump Start the Growing Season

Don’t let cold soil and late spring frost delay the start to your garden season.

Listen to Planting Vegetables Early...

Prepare Garden Soil Now for Next Season

Now is the perfect time to start preparing for next season's garden. As you finish harvesting a garden bed start preparing for the season ahead.

Read more...

Preparing Perennials for Winter

Procrastination is a good thing when it comes to cleaning up your landscape in fall.

Listen to Preparing Perennials for Winter...

Prevent Problems in Your Vegetable Garden

Try a bit of preventative care in this year’s garden. You’ll increase your landscape’s beauty and productivity with less work on your part.

Listen to Vegetable Garden...

Preventing & Overcoming Disease Problems

Keep your plants looking good and be kind to the environment despite the risk of disease problems.

Listen to Preventing Plant Diseases...

Proper Watering

Plants like people need water for healthy growth and development. Gardeners often need to supplement rainfall to keep plants healthy. If done right, it can make the difference between a failed garden and success. Done wrong, it increases disease problems, causes greater drought stress for your plants and wastes water.

Read more...

Pruning Evergreens

You can tame overgrown evergreens blocking your views or creeping over walks with a bit of pruning. And get the best results for your effort with proper timing and the right pruning strategies.

Listen to Pruning Evergreens...

Recycle Christmas Tree in the Garden

Don't drag that Christmas tree to the curb to be hauled away by the trash collectors. Give it a second, even third life, in your landscape.

Read more...

Recycle Fall Leaves in Your Landscape

Put fall leaves to work improving your garden soil.

Read more...

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Don’t drag that Christmas tree to the curb. Give it a second life in your landscape.

Cut trees make great windbreaks in the landscape. Strategically place discarded Christmas trees on the windward side of rhododendron, boxwood and other broadleaf evergreens to reduce problems with winter burn.

Listen to Recycle your Christmas tree...

Recycle, Don't Bag or Burn, Fall Leaves

Think of fall leaves as fertilizer falling from the sky, not an annoyance to be raked and removed. Recycle these nutrient-rich packets back into your landscape.

Tree leaves contain 50 to 80 percent of the nutrients the plants absorb from the air and soil throughout the growing season. Recycle these nutrients back into the soil to benefit future plantings.

Read more...

Recycling Coffee Grounds

Put coffee grounds and filters to work improving your garden’s beauty and productivity.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Red and White Oaks

Winter is a great time to appreciate the majesty and beauty of oak trees. Many of these long-lived large trees have endured centuries of challenging weather and the expansion of urban development.

Read more...

Reviving a Flower Garden

Don’t panic if your spring garden lacks the vim and vigor the past. You can improve the health and beauty of your garden without starting over.

Listen to Reviving a Flower Garden...

Save Water and Money with Rain Barrels

Save money and be kind to your garden and the environment by capturing rainwater and putting it to work in your landscape.

Listen to Garden Moment..

Selecting Mulch for the Garden

Mulch can beautify your garden, suppress weeds, moderate soil temperature and conserve moisture. Consider both function and beauty when selecting mulch for your landscape.

Read more...

Selecting the Best Mulch

You can suppress weeds, conserve moisture, improve soil and save time with one garden resource. And that’s mulch.

Listen to... Selecting the Best Mulch

Skip the Rubber Mulch

Gardeners are always searching for better looking, longer lasting and less expensive mulches. Rubber mulch has been advertised as an attractive and permanent alternative. Think twice before using rubber mulch in the landscape.

Listen to ... Skip the Rubber Mulch

Strategies for a Low Maintenance Perennial Garden

Look for ways to reduce maintenance and still have a beautiful perennial garden.

Read more...

Tar Spot on Maples

Don't let the black tar-like spots on your maple tree make you fret. Though one of the more noticeable, it is one of the less damaging of the fungal leaf spot diseases.

Read more...

The US National Tree - The Mighty Oak

Celebrate the 4th of July with a picnic under our National Tree - the Oak.

Read more...

Tips for Proper Tree Planting

Fall is a great time to plant trees. Follow these important planting tips to insure the health and longevity of your plants.

Read more...

Tired of watering? Save time, money and water with a few simple changes.

Mulch your garden beds with shredded leaves, evergreen needles, or other organic matter. It conserves moisture while suppressing weeds and improving the soil.

Listen to Water Saving Garden Tips...

Tree and Shrub Growth Rates

Now is a great time to plan for additions to your landscape. And as you scour the catalogs and read plant tags you will often see trees rated as fast, medium or slow growers.

Read more...

Unshearing Sheared Evergreens

Tired of constant pruning or need a change from those green gumdrops, hockey pucks and meatballs? With a bit of time and patience you can convert these back to their natural beauty.

Listen to Sheared Evergreens...

Verticillium Wilt

Sudden wilting and death of individual branches of maples, redbuds and other susceptible trees may mean verticillium wilt has infected the plant.

Read more...

Watch for and Prevent Borers on Trees and Shrubs

Extreme heat and cold, droughts and floods can leave our plants stressed and more susceptible to damaging borers.

Listen to Watch for and Prevent Borers on Trees and Shrubs...

Water Trees for their Health and Longevity

Save energy, care for new trees, and conserve water in one easy step.

Listen to Watering Trees for Health...

Water Wise Gardening

Use water wisely in your landscape to save you time, improve plant health and reduce your water bill.

Listen to Garden Moment..

Water Wise Gardening

No matter where you live, being a water wise gardener makes environmental and economic sense. And it’s really easier than you think.

Listen to Water Wise Gardening...

Watering Tips for New Trees

Save time, energy, and conserve water while caring for your new trees.

Listen to Watering Tips for New Trees...

Waterwise Vegetable Gardening

You can grow garden fresh produce while conserving water and limiting the time spent watering.

Read more...

Weed Control

It starts with one little plant. Next thing you know your garden is overrun with them. Some start from seeds that have been dormant in the soil for years while others move in on the wind, in soil additives or with garden transplants.

Listen to Weed Control in the Garden...

Weed Your Garden Day - June 13th

Break out the cupcakes and balloons and get ready to celebrate Weed Your Garden Day on June 13th.

Read more...

Winter Protection for Evergreens

Make this the fall you protect your evergreens before winter winds and snowloads cause your arborvitae to split and rhododendrons to wither.

Listen to Protecting Evergreens in Winter...

Winter Rose Protection

Help your roses through the winter and be rewarded with beautiful blooms next season.

Listen to Protecting Roses in Winter...