Pine straw will not hurt your budget and at the same time, they are easily accessible in places that have lots of pine trees. You can reap more benefits from pine straws if it’s used as mulch but there are more to it actually as it works beautifully for acid loving plants that help in acidifying alkaline soils. There are lots of gardeners who do find pine needles under the trees to be an unsightly mess. But making use of pine straw as garden mulch is quite effective as protection during winter months and for many other purposes as well. The pine straw got its name from the dropped dry foliage coming from the pine trees.
As a matter of fact, you can buy it in bales between 15 to 40 pounds if you do not have pine trees. Believe it or not, this is more affordable to bark by roughly .10 cents per sq.ft. Like what’s said earlier, pine straws are advantageous and many are baffled how it can benefit them. Well in that case, I suggest that you keep on reading.
First things first, pine straw mulch is lighter in comparison to bark mulch. This as a result enables it to have better water percolation and is also easy to distribute. Yes we do know that this increases its percolation but that’s not it because it is also providing a network of needles that prevents erosion from happening while protecting areas that are unstable.
Also, pine straws are slowly breaking down than bark materials or in other words, you can enjoy its benefit for long. And the moment that it starts with composting, nutrient content present in the soil will increase too. Pine straw mulch benefits even include further improving the soil tilth. By using a garden fork, try mixing the needles in the soil to be able to reduce compaction and help in oxygenation.
Pine straw mulch has plenty of more benefits that it can offer in addition to what’s said. For one, it is a very attractive and natural ground cover for ornamental plantings. It is nice to have around acid loving plants similar to camellias, hydrangeas and rhododendrons.
For dry and sandy areas, you can put at least 5 inches of it but in regular soil, the recommended volume of mulch is somewhere around 2 or 3 inches. When used around woody plants, better keep the mulch between 3 to 6 inches from trunk to avoid decays. You can also cover an entire garden bed with pine straw while other plants must have 1 to 2 inches of mulch away from its stems.