Unlike other types of mulch, pine straw won’t wash away during heavy rains. That’s because the needles interlock. For that reason, it’s also the ideal ground cover to use on slopes and hills. Additionally, you won’t attract termites like you would with hard wood mulch. In high-wind areas, use slash pine or long leaf straw for extra protection because the longer needles interlock especially well.
Since pine straw has an acidic level comparable to rainwater (6.0 to 6.5), many of your flowers, trees, plants and shrubs will thrive with it. These include blueberries, strawberries, hostas, azaleas, rose of Sharon, ferns, rhododendrons, astilbe, magnolias and many more. For maximum benefit, you should spread this mulch at least 2 to 3 inches deep.
To control weeds, apply the mulch at least 3 inches deep. That’s because you want the pine straw to block out the light that makes infant weeds survive. Apply it by shaking it in handfuls over the area, and make sure the needles land on the ground in a loose and fluffy manner.
To protect your tree’s root system from cold weather, place the straw around the base. For small trees, make a bed that measures about 2 feet in diameter, 3 inches deep. In frigid climates, increase the depth of the straw to 6 inches.
Due to its longevity, pine straw only needs changed annually. Even though it can last for several years, it looks better when applied once a year. Storing your extra pine mulch between uses is easy. Just keep it in boxes in a cool, dry place such as a garage, and you’ll get to enjoy it season after season.