If you’ve done any kind of landscaping or setting out shrubs, flowers, or trees, inevitably the last part of your project is to put out some mulch. Mulch, or a ground cover on top of the dirt, is a vital part of the success of your landscape.
One type of mulch in our area that is very good, and might be better than any others, is pine needles or pine straw. There are several things that make pine straw an excellent mulch. Pine needles already naturally fall from the trees every year. So, there's no need to cut down another tree to grind it down to use the shredded bark mulch. Pine needles typically don’t wash away. So if you have a slope, or an area that gathers a lot of water, the needles become nested together and tend to hold still in the landscape.
Using pine straw will keep the sun from baking the soil. A two to three inch layer of pine needles will cover the ground. That, in turn, will allow the water to be taken up into the soil more readily. Pine needles keep the root zone cool in the summer and warm in the winter. In addition to the obvious benefits that mulch provides for plants, pine needles are fairly inexpensive and lightweight so they're easy to put out. And if you already have pine trees in your yard, you'll have a good supply of pine straw when the needles fall.
So, for your next project if you’re looking for something different, pine straw might be your answer.