These days, pine straw, a natural, organic, landscaping mulch (garden mulch), is available commercially, especially in those areas where pine trees grow in abundance. It plays an important role in landscaping. It is commonly used in home and commercial landscapes, foundation planting, natural areas, flowerbeds, vegetable gardens, pathways, and steep banks.
This mulch is inexpensive to purchase in bales. Obviously, those who have pine trees on their property can get it free of cost. The trees shed their needles (dry foliage) throughout the year. It is quite easy to collect (hand-raking), bale, use, and store the needles. The needles are dropped regularly. So, there is no need to cut down or harm the tree. Pine needle mulch is one of the best, natural, attractive, easy-to-use mulch for landscaping purposes.
➺ Water can pass through the needles easily.
➺ Mulching blocks light and leads to suffocation of weeds. Thus, it reduces the growth of weeds around the plant.
➺ The needles interlock after spreading, and do not move easily. So, pine needle mulch is the perfect mulch for hills and slopes. It doesn't wash away as easily as wood chips. Even with high winds, long needles stay in place very well.
➺ It decomposes slowly. The rate of decomposition is slower than that of the bark material. Thus, its benefits last longer.
➺ It protects the plant from extreme heat by preventing evaporation of water from the soil. Thus, it keeps the soil around the plant moist and cool.
➺ It prevents the erosion of soil, thus protecting unstable areas.
➺ It promotes the aeration of soil. It allows the soil to breathe, and prevents it from becoming dense and compacted.
➺ It protects the plants from frost and freezing cold, as it helps keep the soil around the plant warm.
➺ With its auburn-like color, this decorative covering can enhance the beauty of a garden.
➺ It is one of the most environment-friendly, easily available, natural, organic material for mulching.
➺ Pine straw improves the soil structure as it decays and decomposes. The mulch adds valuable nutrients like calcium, nitrogen, and phosphorus to the soil.
➺ It is always better than harsh chemicals and inorganic materials.
➺ It helps the soil retain water and keeps the plants hydrated.
➺ As the needles decompose, they acidify the soil, making it perfect for acid-loving plants, trees, and shrubs. Pine straw mulch has an acidic level of 6.0 - 6.5 pH (slightly acidic), which is suitable for most plants.
➺ Building contractors may spread pine straw at construction sites to prevent the soil from being disturbed too much by cement as well as heavy equipment.
➺ As it makes the garden weed-free and keeps the soil moist, the owner needs to spend less time watering and weeding.
➺ Perfect soil conditions help reduce pest problems too. The natural blanket of pine straw can keep a garden insect- and rodent-free. The needles discourage rodents from feasting on the bark.
➺ Termites dislike pine straw mulch. They might accompany hard wood mulch.