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Evergreen Needles Good for the Garden

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

Evergreen 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.


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