Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > October 2017 > IN THE GARDEN with DOUG - PINE TAGS


It is now mid-October and the leaves are really beginning to show color and start to drop.  In driving around, have you noticed that our pine trees have needles that are turning a rust color and beginning to drop as well?  FREE MULCH, BABY !!!  And, this free mulch is compliments of Mother Nature.  In my neighborhood I will see pine needles falling into the street and blowing into piles along the curb that makes it even easier to rake up and bag what you need.  All it takes is a little work with a rake to gather up the fallen needles and move them to your landscape beds.  Mother Earth will thank you for taking advantage of something that is so earthy and natural.
            Now, I am an older gardener.  Years ago I was taught and convinced that pine needles will acidify the soil.  As years have gone by I have now learned that pine needles changing the pH of the soil is a myth.  Actually, our rain is more of an acidifier than pine needles.
            Here are some other facts that may help convince you to think about using pine tags as mulch:
  1.  Pine tags will last a long time.  It will break down more slowly than pine or hardwood mulch.
  2. It’s lightweight.  Pine tags are easy to spread over a garden bed.
  3. Pine straw is sustainable in that no trees are harvested to produce it.  In other words we don’t need to be cutting down trees to make pine tag mulch.  Pine trees naturally shed their inner needles.
  4. Pine straw will promote better soil health.  It will decompose and add organic matter and nutrients into the soil and taken up by plants.
  5. Pine needles give a nice, evenly color to the mulch.  It comes by its coloring naturally.  The color will change over time and get a bit darker and redder after a rain,  lighter with sunshine and age.
  6. If you plan to add plants to a garden bed, pine tags are much easier to rearrange and then easy to put back around a new planting.
When it comes to mulch it is all about personal preference.  Harwood and pine mulch are fantastic to use in landscape beds.  But, the fact remains that pine tags are a gift from Mother Nature.  How can you go wrong with wanting to work with Mother Nature.
By the way, did you notice that I used the 3 words - tags, straw, and needles randomly throughout this blog?  I did it intentionally.
                                                                                                HAPPY GARDENING!!!
Posted: 10/18/2017 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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