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Pine needles

Hi - I have a long self-contained bed of compact rhodies and want to find something to help suppress at least some of the weeds between the young plants.  I did want to underplant, but they are very low growing and I'm concerned about interrupting their shallow roots.  I heard that maybe covering the ground with pine needles would be a good idea.  Does anyone have any experience of doing this, or any words of wisdom?  I guess all I have to do is figure out where my nearest pine wood is...

The bed is south-facing, sheltered, and has partial shade from the retaining wall.

Thanks image


  • Tanty. I'm in the same boat as you. I can obtain the odd bag of pine needles, but no way near enough to cover my beds. I have just purchased some composted New Forest bracken this weekend. Unsure of where you are in the UK, but i know this can be purchased online...

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    They'll acidify the soil as they break down, which will be good for the rhodies. 

  • LandlubberLandlubber Posts: 396

    I like rhodies.....but as I have a small garden.....image

  • Tanty2Tanty2 Posts: 221

    Hi all - John, thanks for the tip about bracken!  I really need something to try and suppress some of the weed growth because it's getting out of hand while the plants are still small - I've love to know how you get on with the bracken!  I've ordered a test bag of pine nuggets to see how they do, too...

  • Tanty2Tanty2 Posts: 221

    Hey Landlubber - what about growing Compact or Dwarf rhodies?  They're happy in teeny spaces or containers and just so gorgeous...there are a couple of nurseries online that specialise in the wee ones - that's how I got all of mine cos I didn't want to end up living in a rhodie jungle image

  • seacrowsseacrows Posts: 234

    When we had a massive Leylandii hedge out front I used to mulch our blueberries with the leaf litter from under the hedge. It slowly breaks down into a reasonably acidic soil and keeps the blueberries happy. Doesn't totally suppress the weeds, but gets rid of most of them.

    Do you know anyone with one of these hedges who'd like it tidying up a little? image

  • ... You can have them absolutely free from me, I'm inundated with the ******* things from the Scots pines in my garden! I have to do a rake off about 3 times a year or the swamp everything!
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