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Pine Needle Mulch?

Hello all. Has anyone used pine needles as a mulch? Due to several very large neighbouring trees I have a regular supply of pine needles in my garden. Instead of raking them up again for the council bin this weekend I thought I might try to use them. What plants can I use these under and is now the right time of year to apply this type of mulch? 


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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 33,156
    Anything which likes acidic conditions is fine with them. Rhodos, Camellias, Acers, Skimmias, Pieris etc.
    To be honest, unless you're using a massively thick layer on a regular basis, they won't affect most shrubs you put them round. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,419
    Just make sure the soil is moist before putting them down otherwise you are sealing in the dryness.
  • Thanks Fairygirl. I have a fairly decent pile of needles at the moment. I could either do a very thick layer around my acer and camelia or I could do a thinner layer of a few inches around a larger area of my shrub border which includes a mix of a number of laurels, photinas, forsythias, tree peonies, sorbus and a viburnum opulus. If they could benefit I'd like to do the larger area this weekend. 

    Thanks for the tip of watering first Palustris it is a bit dry at the moment and no rain in the forecast these next 2 weeks. My forsythias are looking worse for wear at the moment.
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,419
    They have very little food value, so it may be worth putting some Bone meal type stuff down first, as well.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 33,156
    Apologies - I should have mentioned the ground being damp first. We have the opposite problem from you  :)
    The viburnum, forsythia, sorbus and laurels will certainly be fine. I don't grow the others, but I doubt it would worry them too much.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Fairygirl I would love some of your rain please! :smiley: My grass was starting to turn green again but now seems to be having second thoughts. 

    Palustris I don't have bone meal so would need to go to the shop or could I use rootmore which I do have to hand?  

    Appreciate your help both of you!
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,419
    That would be a waste of Rootmore. That is best kept  for new plantings. Any Growmore or Chicken fertiliser? If not, don't worry, if the shrubs are growing well then not feeding will be ok.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 33,156
    I'd agree - bit of a waste giving food just now.
    I'd happily send you some @wellhellotoyoutoo. We have plenty to go round - too much over the weekend unfortunately, although it has cleared up today and been very nice  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thank you for the tip. I've managed to get a bucket of chicken manure yesterday evening so I will put that down before the pine needles. Hopefully the forsythia will perk up a bit for next Spring.

    Glad your weather cleared up Fiarygirl. Been rather warm here in the South East these past couple days. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 33,156
    Feeding the ground is always the best route with shrubs - so adding any organic matter is great. Compost/rotted manure/leaf mould etc. Feed is more useful for heavily flowering plants - perennials, climbers,annuals etc, but a sprinkle of something like B,F&B in spring is beneficial, and harmless if not used by the shrubs. 

    Back to more normal temps today  -  cloudy, breezy and 12 just now  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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