Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Pine Straw

Like many of you, I have been buying wood chips/mulch for the paths in my flower garden.  This is despite the various concerns about mulch: it breeds artillery fungus that can permanently stain houses, it robs the soil of nitrogen as it breaks down (not such a problem in paths), it can encourage voles and it costs money!  So, I have started doing what I should have been doing all along: using the free mulch that drops from my pine tree and the trees of neighbors.

At first, the pine straw (some call it pine tags) is fluffy, but it soon packs down (I walked over it a few times).  Like wood chips, it might encourage voles and take up nitrogen, but it is free and I don't have to drive somewhere to get it, load it, unload it and spread it.  Plus, I already rake it up every fall.  Win Win! And, after it packs down, it looks pretty good,  It likely will not last as long as wood chips, but I easily renew it every year.

Happy Gardening!

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