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Old May 17, 2012   #1
barryla61
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Default Pine needles for mulch?

Is it safe to use pine needles to mulch around tomato plants?
These would be raked right out from under trees
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Old May 17, 2012   #2
Mojave
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As long as they are brown and dried up they should make a great, slightly acidic, mulch. Green needles contain terpenes which can stunt growth and stop seed germination so be sure yours are dry.

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Old May 17, 2012   #3
eltex
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From the studies I have seen, the needles will have almost no effect on soil PH. I have mulched with it for years around my transplants, and I love it.
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Old May 17, 2012   #4
Tracydr
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I love using pine needle mulch. Except, they are very pokey on the hands and difficult to sort all the pine cones out of.
But, other than that, make excellent mulch and for me, it's free. Free is always good.
I've also found them a great soil conditioner, they break down in about one year.
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Old May 17, 2012   #5
BigBrownDogHouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracydr View Post
I love using pine needle mulch. Except, they are very pokey on the hands and difficult to sort all the pine cones out of.
No pokiness for me. My favorite pine and the one I planted the most are White Pines.....nothing but beautiful soft needles.
Austrian and Spruce needles can be tough on hands!
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Old May 19, 2012   #6
Keiththibodeaux
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The ultimate mulch, I think.
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Old May 20, 2012   #7
BruceinGa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eltex View Post
From the studies I have seen, the needles will have almost no effect on soil PH. I have mulched with it for years around my transplants, and I love it.
Yesterday morning this subject to discussed on our local lawn and garden talk show on the radio. The host, Walter Reeves, agrees with you that pine needles doesn't change the pH.
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Old May 22, 2012   #8
b54red
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The problem I have run into when using pine needles for mulch is the huge increase in pill bugs, roaches, and slugs. This is not too much of a problem for the tomatoes but when you come back and plant lettuce, cabbage and some other crops they cause real problems even if the mulch has been removed.
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Old July 4, 2012   #9
GreenGator
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I have been using primarily pine needles for about 20 years and I have to agree with b54red. The ONLY problem I've had is pests, BUT, all mulches attract the bugs and the bugs are what aid in breaking the mulch down into rich soil. I'll keep using pine needles. I have never grown leafy greens before so I have had no real issues. I hope to add lettuce and cabbage and a few other greens to the gardens next spring, so I'm happy for the "heads up" from b54red! I'll try a clean bed for those!
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