Pine needles in the garden : how to use them ?

In most cases, plant debris is very useful in the garden, and pine needles are no exception. Before taking them to the local recycling center, it is therefore better to consider how to recycle them and their positive effects on the various plantations. Let’s take a closer look at what savvy gardeners do with their pine needles.

Pine needles against slugs and snails

Slugs and snails are a real pest in the garden because they are very fond of tender leaves such as those in salads and many others. In a few hours, after a good rain, they are able to do a lot of damage to the vegetable garden as well as to the pleasure garden. To prevent them from colonizing beds and flowerbeds, without resorting to chemical treatments against slugs, you can simply spread a good layer of pine needles at the foot of many plants to create a very uncomfortable natural mat for gastropods who will have no other solution than to go their way because on this type of ground, they have a lot of trouble progressing.

When the pine needles are too packed to the point of no longer being a nuisance for slugs and snails, all you have to do is remove this natural mulch and put in new needles.

Pine needles in the compost

The pine needle can be incorporated into the compost in thin layers interspersed with other wet green waste. You just have to wait until the pine needles are completely dry. Note, however, that some gardeners who want them to decompose more quickly, soak them beforehand in a container filled with water.

A word of advice: ideally, you cannot build up your humus only with needles because it would not bring enough nutrients to the plantations. Moreover, they contain little releasable potassium. The fact remains that it is a carbonaceous material, and you can therefore bring benefits to your plants if you create your compost with pine needles mixed with kitchen waste such as vegetable peelings , banana peels, sawdust, grass clippings, bark, some of these components providing nitrogen. You just have to take care to dose well nitrogenous materials and carbonaceous materials to have a perfectly balanced humus.

Note that the compost made with a share of needles helps to lighten heavy soil. Microbial activity is even moderately increased if pine needles are added to green manure.

Pine needles in the garden path

If you want to build a garden path, you can opt for a good layer of pine needles. It costs less than asphalt and the natural effect is guaranteed and it smells good! In addition, since the dirt roads are covered with needles, you can easily keep your feet clean in case of rain. It is therefore a good idea to set up an alley between the house and the vegetable garden in order to harvest vegetables and aromatic herbs as needed, in all weathers, without returning with clumsy hooves.

Pine needles to mulch the plantations

think about mulching is a good initiative for save water. Spreading a layer of pine needles at the foot of the plants helps keep the soil moist. This is very important to allow many plantations to benefit from cool soil during the summer season. In parallel, this retards the growth of weeds. We therefore save time in terms of watering but also weeding, which allows us to have more moments of freedom and to use them for something else…

Pine needles as substrate for potted plants

They can be added to a substrate in which you wish to transplant plants in pots, pots, suspensions, planters or in containers. After the pine needles are collected, it is necessary to cut them down. A small amount can be cut with simple scissors otherwise it is best to coarsely chop the needles with clippers. All that remains is to immerse them in water for about twelve hours in order to hydrate them well.

Pot culture makes it possible to vegetate a terrace or a balcony. But in this type of container, the substrate dries out too quickly, especially during the summer, which makes it necessary to water very frequently. If you go on vacation for several weeks, it is better to take precautions so that the plants can still benefit from fresh soil. By constituting a substrate with approximately 35% pine needles, plants are provided with adequate litter. Moreover, many plant species grow naturally in soil that retains moisture well while being perfectly drained, which is the case for plants that grow in softwood undergrowth, for example.

Pine needles in the vegetable garden for clean products

Nothing is more disagreeable than harvesting soil-stained vegetables and fruits. In addition, when they are in contact with the ground, they risk being damaged very quickly. So do not hesitate to spread a layer of pine needles about ten centimeters under strawberries, tomatoes and all other good garden produce that you don’t want to touch the ground.

Pine needles, what about soil acidity and tannins?

We often hear that pine needles acidify the soil. Info or intox ? Researchers have looked into the matter and have not noted any conclusive change even after several decades. Anyway, many plants do very well if this type of mulch is installed at their base or if pine needles are incorporated into their substrate.

So the Phalaenopsis and other orchids particularly appreciate being planted in a substrate made up of at least 30% pine needles, as these promote the development of these extraordinary plants and contribute to drainage. The same is true for the Rhododendronlā€™Azalealā€™Hydrangeathe Camellia or even the Heatherthe Rosier but also the strawberries treeā€¦

Finally, some gardeners wonder about the growth inhibitory effects due to the tannins of these needles. There is not much to worry about because these tannins are weakly concentrated there.

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