taradal
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Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:39 pm
Location: Acworth, Georgia

Pine needle mulch

Is there any reason not to use pine needles for a mulch for tomato plants? I just raked a huge pile of needles off my yard and it seems that they'd make a great mulch.

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Pine needle mulch

I use pine needle mulch all of the time. It is acidic, but does not pack down and is pretty good weed control. It works around most plants. I have only had problems with it around garlic. :()
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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ElizabethB
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Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Pine needle mulch

Pine straw is my favorite mulch for both moisture retention and weed control. It breaks down much slower than wood mulch so it does not need replenishing as often. Because of the slow break down acid is not a problem. Great stuff and it looks nice as well.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

Smallgardener
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Location: SW Kansas

Re: Pine needle mulch

I had the kids pick up some pine needles form under the neighbors pine trees and put I around my small trees in the front yard. They had a ring of bricks around them to keep the mulch in place, and make a smooth line to mow around. I had to tamp it down and wet it t keep it from blowing away.

taradal
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Location: Acworth, Georgia

Re: Pine needle mulch

Thanks, everyone! I was concerned about making the soil too acid, but duh. . .since they do take so long to break down, I would just need to scrape them off at the end of the growing season. Putting tomato seedlings in this week. I think I'll do a layer of rabbit pellets, then a layer of yellow straw, then a thick layer of pine needles, for mulch. That way, I still have extra stuff to turn into the soil next winter. I appreciate the comments!
-Kathryn

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hendi_alex
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Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Re: Pine needle mulch

We used pine needle mulch one year, and the next day the plants had wilted and died. I assume that pine needles can sometimes be the home to wilt bacteria. I don't know whether this was an isolated event or suggests more of a widespread problem.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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lakngulf
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Location: Lake Martin, AL

Re: Pine needle mulch

hendi_alex wrote:We used pine needle mulch one year, and the next day the plants had wilted and died. I assume that pine needles can sometimes be the home to wilt bacteria. I don't know whether this was an isolated event or suggests more of a widespread problem.
YIKES!! Say it ain't so. I just put pine mulch around my veggies.
Nutin as good as a kitchen sink mater sammich

LGT
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Location: Dothan, AL

Re: Pine needle mulch

I think wilt bacteria is usually carried by beetles. In five days you should be able to tell if your plants are affected. If you don't have many beetles I wouldn't worry too much about it.

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