Just because fall has come around doesn’t mean your lawn care worries are over. While you may not have to worry about cutting the grass so often, there are still leaves to rake up regularly and possibly pine straw overtaking your yard. Since they fall in mats, they are usually more difficult to remove than leaves. They can also suck the life out of your grass or flowers if left on there too long.
Pine trees are very common in the south, and the brown, dried needles that fall from them are referred to as pine needles or pine straw. Since they are so slim, they tend to slide straight through a rake and stay where they are on the ground. They can form a thick barrier that keeps sun and water from reaching the plants or grass underneath, so they definitely pose a threat to your landscaping. They also take a long time to decompose and burning them isn’t the best option for removal. So what can you do about them?
First, don’t take pine straw as a total disadvantage. If there are areas of your garden that you need mulch to stay in place and not blow away with heavy winds, pine straw could be useful. Or you may have a spot that plants are growing and you’d rather get rid of them. Layer a pile of pine straw on top to choke them out and hinder growth.
If you need to control a minor erosion problem, pine straw could be your answer. A heavy piling of these needles can keep the soil in place and create a natural wall that stops erosion from ruining your garden.
If pine needles pose no benefits to you or your yard, removing them is the way to go. As previously mentioned, a rake may be difficult since the needles are so thin and can slip right through. You can still get a large pile out of the way with a rake, but another option may be a leaf blower. This will clear your space quickly and efficiently. Gather the straw in waste bags or see if any neighbors could use it before you dispose of it all. You can also use pine straw as a fire starter- just don’t burn a whole pile of it at once but rather use it in addition to sticks/logs for outdoor fires.
Hopefully you can find a quick and easy solution for any pine straw problems you may have. Whether you use them to your benefit or remove them completely, there are ways to take care of it while keeping your yard in the best shape possible.