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DOUG’S BLOG – Pine Tags

By Doug Hensel
Doug's Blog

SOME PEOPLE CALL IT PINE TAGS, SOME CALL IT PINE STRAW, AND SOME SAY PINE NEEDLES. ALL THREE TERMS ARE CORRECT AND DESCRIBE WHAT IS FALLING OUT OF OUR PINE TREES RIGHT NOW

We are now in the second week of November. Leaves are coloring and falling out of the trees rapidly. So are pine needles. In driving around have you noticed that the pine trees have inner needles that are turning a rust color and beginning to drop? FREE MULCH COMPLIMENTS OF MOTHER NATURE!! Don’t let these pine tags go to waste. All it takes is a little work with a rake to gather up the fallen tags and move them to your garden beds.

Speaking of falling leaves and pine tags, here is a garden tip reminder:

Don’t let all these leaves and needles collect on top of your newly seeded lawn. A heavy, thick blanket of leaves will choke out the sunlight to the new grass seedlings. So, be very diligent about carefully removing the leaves on a regular basis. Remember, leaves are an excellent source of organic matter and other nutrients. They can be added to the home compost pile or used as mulch.  Mulching can make the soil more workable, aid rainwater penetration, and improve moisture retention near plant roots. You can fill paths between raised garden beds now with leaves, for fewer weeds next spring.

Years ago I was taught and convinced that pine needles will acidify the soil. As years have gone by I have now learned that pine tags changing the pH of the soil is a myth. Actually, our rain is more of an acidifier than pine tags.

HERE ARE SOME OTHER FACTS ABOUT PINE TAGS

  • Pine tags will last a long time.
  • It’s lightweight. Pine tags are easy to spread over a garden bed.
  • Pine tags are sustainable in that no trees are harvested to produce it. In other words, we don’t need to be cutting down trees to make pine needle mulch. Pine trees naturally shed their needles once a year.
  • Pine tags will promote better soil health. It will decompose and add organic matter and nutrients into the soil and taken up by plants.
  • Pine tags give a nice, evenly color to the mulch. The color will change over time and get a bit darker after a rain, lighter with sunshine and age.

When it comes to mulch it is all about personal preference. Hardwood and pine mulches are fantastic to use in landscape beds. But, the fact remains that pine tags are a gift from Mother Nature.  How can you go wrong with wanting to work with Mother Nature?

HAPPY GARDENING IN NOVEMBER!!!!!!!

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