Pine straw is a type of mulch often used for flowerbeds in residential and commercial landscaping projects. Considered a renewable resource because it comes from pine trees and is actually the dead needles that fall from the trees, pine straw not only helps to insulate the roots of plants in the winter but can also help keep moisture in the ground during the hotter months of summer. If you are fortunate enough to have access to several pine trees, you can often collect the needles and create your own pine straw mulch.
Collect pine needles in the fall to have access to a larger quantity of needles. Pine trees drop their needles in the fall, making autumn the time of year when needles are the freshest and look their best.
Don gloves to protect your hands from bug bites and briars, as well as to prevent blisters from forming while raking.
Remove branches and twigs from the area where you will collect the needles.
Use a rake to collect the pine needles in a large pile. Remove small debris and leaves that have mixed in with the pine needles.
Fill a large garbage bag with the pine needles. Continue to rake the pine needles into piles and clean away the debris as you fill additional garbage bags. Keep raking and storing the pine needles in the garbage bags until you have as much as you desire.
Store the garbage bags filled with pine needles in a place where moisture cannot get into the bags. Use the pine straw mulch as soon as possible, since over time the pine needles will dry out and turn grey.
Leave some pine needles under each pine tree to help protect them and to provide the soil with nutrients for the trees as the needles break down and decay.
Tips and warnings
- Leave some pine needles under each pine tree to help protect them and to provide the soil with nutrients for the trees as the needles break down and decay.