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They are great sources for mulch as they preserve the moisture well, help to cut down on weeds and are great for the soil. Apropos newspaper mulch and tomatoes - add shredded paper to the trench in which you will plant tomatoes. To remedy this, make sure you know what you’re getting — know your source and exactly what is in the bales, as there are many different types. Their good intention is to suffocate weeds, but plastic doesn’t allow the plant roots to breathe and receive much water. I know they are acidic but my soil is alkaline so that shouldn't be a problem. They add acidity to the soil, so they are an excellent choice for blueberries (which prefer more acidic soil) and for gardens with neutral to alkaline soil. Vegetable gardens generally have slightly different mulching needs than flower beds. Straw. REALITY: The notion that pine needles change the soil pH so that nothing will grow or that it will damage plants has been out there for years. So, the question was posed by a PVFS customer "Can I use pine needles as a mulch for my potatoes?" Build up the layer gradually, using dry grass. Pine needle mulch is a great mulch option around tomatoes. ... Is Pine Bark Mulch Good For Tomatoes? They also add a little acidity to the soil. Inorganic varieties for tomatoes include plastics and fabrics, such as Recycled Plastic Weedblock or various kinds of sheet plastics. Pine needles are also known as pine straw. Take care to use grass clippings only when the yard has not been chemically treated. There are a few factors to consider when selecting tomato mulch. It turns out that fresh pine needles taken directly from a tree are slightly acidic. Grass. The paper mulched soil remains moist into the following year. Pine straw typically costs less or about the same as a bag of standard mulch. It is true that pine needles have a pH of 3.2 to 3.8 (neutral is 7.0) when they drop from a tree. Largest winter melon I’ve ever grown in my life and it’s still growing!! Pine Needles are less expensive and go further. 7.8k. Stay away from feed hay, as this is full of weed seeds. I've got pine trees so this mulch is free. When tomatoes have set fruit, I use lime to stop blossom end rot. Mulching makes a good layer on the topsoil stopping the growth and spread of weeds. You may need to amend soil to counteract this if your plants have a strong preference. When using straw as mulch avoid touching the plant stems as this can increase fungal problems. … Cut or tear into strips that fit easily around plants. Nut Shells. Because the needles knit together and stay put, they’re good for slight slopes. It’s also plentiful for collecting in areas with pine trees. Pine needles and pine bark should be watched closely in vegetable garden as they can raise the acidic levels of the soil. Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:26 am Lots of people mention pine needles for the garden but I have seen them work the last two years in my friends garden. Pine straw/needles/mulch are not acidic but it still makes good mulch as it breaks down easily adding organic matter too soil-----Let’s have a look at the first question; are pine needles acidic? I prefer this mulch type because is 100% organic and does its job extraordinarily well. But stay away from hay, as it’s full of seeds. Peat Moss: Peat moss slowly decomposes over the growing season, adding nutrients to the soil. Some of the best organic materials for vegetables are hay, grass clippings, and compost. These aren’t tiny pieces of pine either; these pine needles measure about 9 inches long each. That being said, pine needles do pack well over time. So as susan2010 said, you need to move it aside to plant or rake it off and re-apply it if you plan to spade up the soil or add amendments or whatever. Pine needles (pine straw) are sold by the bale. The mulch will reduce splashing on … pine needles and/or bark. Newspaper or Cardboard: Newspaper is best for blocking weeds. Determinate tomato plants, which are the type most commonly grown in home gardens, require a tomato cage or stake for support. Best to use them as a top dressing on flower gardens, around roses, and places where weed and moisture control are desired. A good mulch will block out the light and therefore inhibit the growth of unwanted plant life. A 2-inch layer of grass clippings provides good weed control. I would advise against using pine needles to mound around potatoes and most garden vegetables. organic matter and/or white gravel. Roll-over image to enlarge At this point pine straw from the path has broken down enough to lose its effectiveness as a path mulch. This mulch has worked good for me for the past 15 years. Purchase one bale of pine straw for every 100 square feet of landscape area to apply the pine straw … Pine needle mulch for my tomatoes! Needles from pine trees make a fragrant and appealing mulch. Some people like to add black plastic or landscaping fabric to the ground before piling mulch on top. Because pine needles break down so slowly they are not good additives to turn directly into garden soils. Besides that, I think it looks good and gives your garden a natural look. of one of these mulches … Mulching Tomatoes. 3 years ago. The interlocking nature of the mulch gives it more stability when compared to other products of its type. straw, sawdust, shredded leaves, grass clippings, newspaper, compost Azaleas & rhododendrons. Pine wood chips work well as a mulching material, but be careful about which plants you spread them around. Calculate how much pine straw you need for a landscape by measuring carefully prior to placing your mulch order and you will be sure to have enough pine straw to cover your garden areas. It breaks down quickly, but has enough weight to stay where you place it. The only issue with straw is seed sprouting. But area coverage is where you really get more bang for your buck with pine straw vs mulch: 1 bag of mulch = roughly 12 square feet at 2 inches deep; 1 bale of pine straw = 45 to 50 square feet at 3 inches deep A pine needle lacks the surface area necessary to be effective at blocking out light. MYTH: Ponderosa pine needles make the soil more acidic (low pH). It just seems like it would be much easier to work with then old hay. Pine needle is an excellent choice for garden mulch around newly planted annual flowers such as: Grass clippings. Start using it and you will notice the difference? Pine needles look like they would make a very convenient mulch and in some cases this can be true, but be careful. Mulch or compost as GrandmaGos said. The truth is pine needles do not make the soil more acidic. Although some people like to apply compost as mulch, it's actually better to use a coarser material, such as straw or bark. However, they do biodegrade more quickly, and therefore need to be replenished more frequently, which offsets original savings. Another readily available material is straw. Pine Needles. Pine needles are a good choice for mulching, and really economical if you have pine trees in your yard or pine straw easily available locally. Mulch is simply a ... straw or pine needles to protect tomato roots from too much heat during the hot summer months, as well as to help retain moisture in the soil. By National Gardening Association Editors . You’ll need a good, organic mulch. I wait to apply pine needle mulch until I have tomatoes on the vine because I like to hoe my ground and hoe around the plants. Straw: Straw makes great mulch for tomatoes and other veggie plants. Unless you pile a lot on you may find it very disappointing as a weed deterrent. If using hay, be aware that you may be introducing weed seeds to your garden. Use hay, straw, gardening mulch, or pine needles as mulch. A pine straw mulch path will breakdown over a period of about 12 to 18 months and can be raked up and added to the veggie garden as good soil conditioner. Yes, pine bark mulch is good for tomatoes. Pine needles are a good mulch for acid loving plants such as azaleas and rhododendrons. For instance, red plastic mulch helps tomatoes and strawberries grow well, ... Pine Straw Pine Mulch. Most are cheap or free. Try using pine needle mulch under the hydrangeas instead. Pine straw makes a kind of unique mulch for veggies in that it does not break down fast and so you can't expect to "dig it in" after a season. Will be good for either. sawdust or wood chips. Pine needle straw mulch can be used with sloped locations. In … As it decomposes, it adds organic material to your garden. There are many plants that love all the pine straw acid. Posted by 4 days ago. Straw: Straw makes great mulch for tomatoes. The effect on soil pH is not the only benefit of using pine needles around the garden. Golden straw and wheat straw are good choices. Mulch protects your plants, encourages growth, and leads to a better harvest! In order words, you’ll get a lot of pine needles when you order this. It stays in place because the straw lodges in the soil, building upon itself to create a stable layer of protection. Grass clipping also make a nice mulch and are a great way to keep from overloading your composter. How to Pick the Best Mulch for Tomatoes in Containers. There is a belief that the pine needles will change the pH of the soil but UT Extension Horticulture Specialist Carol Reese says it will not change it enough to matter. By the time pine needles gets old and are ready to drop off the tree they are barely acidic. Spread a 3-6” layer around tomatoes. To determine whether the soil's pH needs to be amended, test the soil in the garden. Small fruits, such as strawberries & grapes. The best azalea mulches include pine needles and dried chopped oak leaves. Would pine shavings, the kind that are used as bedding for horses, be OK to use as mulch in my garden. Other Benefits of using Pine Needles as Mulch. The pine straw mulch allows a good water infiltration to the roots of your plants, maintains a good humidity level in the soil, doesn’t wash away, and stops the weeds from growing in your vegetable garden. You can use full swags or grind them down to the needles themselves. It will be several weeks before the tomato is large enough to require the support, but the plants are much easier to handle when smaller. Mulching azaleas involves mounding about three or four inches (7 to 10 cm.) Tomatoes. Amending the Soil. Organic mulch is good for the soil. This may be a bit on the expensive side, but it covers up to 200 square feet when you spread it at a 2- to 3-inch depth. After that I water every evening and apply liquid fertilize every 10 days. These are organic mulches that do the job keeping the moisture in the soil, regulating soil temperature and keeping down the weeds. Hardwood mulch vs. Pine Needles (AKA pine straw) Hardwood mulch is alkaline; Pine Needles are acidic. Some gardeners also pile up soil five or six inches around the stems of their plants to insulate the roots more and promote some extra growth. Pine Needles. If you use the plastic, punch holes in it. sawdust, compost, pine needles and/or bark. Worst Mulch; Blueberries. Potatoes . Acid-loving plants like azaleas, blueberry bushes and tomatoes thrive when mulched with pine wood chips. Pine contains a high acidity level. Baled pine needles are also found in garden centers for use as a mulch. In fact, many potting soils for tomato plants contain composted pine bark. View entire discussion ( 11 comments) More posts from the gardening community. Like pine straw, wood mulch insulates soil during cold temps and cools it during the summer heat. Take a sample to the local agriculture extension agency or use a soil testing kit purchased from a gardening center. Pine needles usually have a high amount of acid, so care must be taken when placing them in your whole yard or landscape, depending on pH levels. mushroom compost (has high pH) Herbs. And moisture control are desired Cardboard: newspaper is best for blocking.. Soil to counteract this if your plants have a pH of 3.2 to 3.8 neutral... A path mulch in it be true, but plastic doesn’t allow the plant stems as is! 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