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Using Pine Needles as Mulch in the Garden

I've heard mixed opinions as to whether it's okay to use pine needles as mulch. Someone told me the needles are too acidic for plant roots. This concerns me since my whole property is surrounded by pine trees.

Pine needles are often incorrectly blamed for making the soil too acidic.  They have a minimal effect on the soil acidity.  The needles make a great mulch that reduces weeds while adding organic matter and nutrients to the soil. 

Just take a look under your evergreens and notice the small number of weeds.  Many gardeners have tried unsuccessfully to grow flowers and shrubs under evergreens.  They often blame the needles when in fact it is the heavy shade cast by the tree and the competition for water that killed the new plantings.

Large amount of any fresh organic matter incorporated into the soil can impact the soil and plant growth.  Adjust watering and fertilization to compensate for any drastic change in the soil environment.


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