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LET’S TALK GARDENING – Pine Tags

By Doug Hensel
Doug's Blog

PINE TAGS OR IS IT PINE STRAW? BOTH ARE GOOD TERMS IN DESCRIBING WHAT IS FALLING OUT OF OUR PINE TREES RIGHT NOW.

We are now into the second week of December and the pine tags are really falling fast out of our pine trees. FREE MULCH, BABY!!! The other day as I was driving home, a landscaping crew had just finished raking and cleaning the landscaping beds and they made huge piles of a mixture between pine tags and falling leaves. All it takes is a little work with a rake to gather up the fallen needles and put them neatly around all your trees and shrubs. Mother Earth will thank you for taking advantage of something that is so earthy and natural.

Back in my youth when I was learning more about horticulture, I was taught and convinced that pine needles will acidify the soil. As years have gone by I have 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 THAT MAY HELP TO CONVINCE YOU TO THINK ABOUT USING PINE TAGS AS A MULCH

  • Pine tags will last a long time. It will break down more slowly than pine or hardwood mulch.
  • It’s lightweight. They are easy to spread over a garden bed.
  • Pine tags are sustainable in that no trees are harvested to produce them. In other words, we don’t need to be cutting down trees to make mulch. Pine trees naturally shed their needles.
  • Pine tags will promote better soil health. They will decompose and add organic matter and nutrients into the soil and be taken up by plants.
  • Pine tags give a nice, evenly color to the garden beds. It comes by its coloring naturally. The color will change over time and get a bit darker and redder after rain, lighter with sunshine and age.
  • If you plan to add plants to a garden bed, pine tags are much easier to rearrange and then easier to put back around a new planting.

When it comes to mulch it is all about personal preference. Hardwood and pine mulch is fantastic to use in landscaping 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?

GO MOTHER NATURE!!!! THANK YOU. HAPPY GARDENING!!!!!

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