Pine needles in the garden: how to use them?

In most cases, plant debris is of great use in the garden, and pine needles are no exception to the rule. Before taking them to the local recycling center, it is therefore better to think about how to recycle them and their positive effects on the various plantations. Let’s take a closer look at what savvy gardeners do with their pine needles.

Pine needles against slugs and snails

Slugs and snails are a real nuisance in the garden because they are very fond of tender leaves like those of salads and many others. In a few hours, after a good rain, they are able to do a lot of damage to the vegetable garden as to the pleasure garden. To prevent them from colonizing beds and flowerbeds, without resorting to chemical treatments against slugs, we can simply spread a good layer of pine needles at the base of many plants to create a very uncomfortable natural mat for gastropods who will have no other solution than to go their way because on this type of ground, they have great difficulty in progressing.

When the pine needles are too packed to the point of no longer being a nuisance for slugs and snails, all you have to do is remove this natural mulch and put in new needles.

Pine needles in the compost

The pine needle can be incorporated into the compost in thin layers interspersed with other wet green waste. You just have to wait until the pine needles are completely dry. Note, however, that some gardeners wanting them to decompose faster, soak them beforehand in a container filled with water.

A word of advice: ideally, you can’t build up your humus only with needles because it would not provide enough nutrients to the plantations. Moreover, they contain little releasable potassium. The fact remains that it is a carbonaceous material, and you can therefore bring benefits to your plants if you create your compost with pine needles mixed with kitchen waste such as vegetable peelings. , banana peels, sawdust, grass clippings, bark, some of these components providing nitrogen. You just have to make sure dose well nitrogenous matter and carbonaceous matter to have a perfectly balanced humus.

Note that the compost made with a portion of needles helps to lighten heavy soil. Microbial activity is even moderately increased if pine needles are added to green manure.

Pine needles in the garden path

If you want to create a garden path, you can opt for a good layer of pine needles. It costs less than asphalt and the natural effect is guaranteed and it smells good! In addition, since the dirt roads are covered with needles, you can happily keep your feet clean in the event of rain. It is therefore a good idea to create an alley between the house and the vegetable garden in order to harvest vegetables and aromatic herbs as needed, in all weathers, without coming in with muddy hooves.

Pine needles for mulching the plantations

Think about mulching is a good initiative for save water. Spreading a layer of pine needles at the foot of the plants helps to keep the soil moist. This is very important to allow many plantations to benefit from fresh soil during the summer season. In parallel, this retards the growth of weeds. This saves time in terms of watering but also weeding, which allows you to have more moments of freedom and to use them for anything else …

Pine needles as a substrate for potted plants

They can be added to a substrate in which you want to transplant potted, pot, suspension, planter or container plants. After picking up the pine needles, it is necessary to reduce them. A small amount can be cut with simple scissors otherwise, it is better to roughly chop the needles with a trimmer. Then all you have to do is immerse them in water for a dozen hours in order to hydrate them well.

The culture in pot makes it possible to vegetate a terrace or a balcony. But in this type of container, the substrate dries up too quickly, especially during the summer, which makes it necessary to water very frequently. If you are going on vacation for several weeks, it is better to take precautions so that the plants can still benefit from fresh soil. By constituting a substrate with approximately 35% pine needles, plants are allowed to benefit from adequate litter. Moreover, many plant species grow naturally in a soil that retains moisture well while being perfectly drained, which is the case with plants that grow in coniferous undergrowth, for example.

Pine needles in the vegetable garden for clean products

Nothing is more disagreeable than harvesting vegetables and fruits soiled with the earth. In addition, when they are in contact with the ground, they risk being damaged very quickly. So do not hesitate to spread a layer of pine needles about ten centimeters under strawberries, tomatoes and all other good garden products that you don’t want to touch the ground.

Pine needles, what about the acidity of the soil and the tannins?

We often hear that pine needles acidify the soil. Info or intox ? Researchers have looked into the question and have not noted any convincing change even after several decades. However, many plants do very well if you install this type of mulch at their base or if you integrate pine needles into their substrate.

So the Phalaenopsis and other orchids particularly appreciate being installed in a substrate composed of at least 30% pine needles because the latter promote the development of these extraordinary plants and participate in drainage. It is the same for the Rhododendron, theAzalea, theHydrangea, the Camellia or the Heather, the Rosebush but also the strawberries tree

Finally, some gardeners wonder about the growth inhibiting effects due to the tannins of these needles. There is not much to fear as these tannins are weakly concentrated there.