This can save you a lot of time when it comes to weeding, watering, and fertilizing. « Question about putting tom plants on compost heap. on Grow Your Own, Started by willnbirdie This is a problem for turfgrass because when the needles break down, they cause a “matting effect” in the soil bed surrounding the tree causing difficulty for turf (or most plants for that matter) to grow well. Pine tree needles are acidic when they fall, with a pH around 3.5. I ask Stephen Legaree to share his thoughts on the topic. You might expect it to have a pH of 7.0 since that is the pH of pure water. However, as rain falls, it absorbs CO2 from the air. I LOVE pine straw as a … This advice is very prevalent especially for growing acid loving plants such as azaleas and rhododendrons. I was eager to find the source of the myth, and I think I did: in areas with wet, temperate climates and well-drained soils with igneous base rock (not too calcium-rich rocks), there the soils in areas dominated by pines and spruce become significantly more acidic than areas with broad leaf trees. So, it is better to test the soil acidity levels first. I’ve never encountered a circumstance of excessive soil acidity as the result of using generous amounts of coniferous needles for mulch and soil improvement. This article from Colorado State University states that. I wanted to share what I learned and how I amended my Texas clay soil. When you add CO2 to water you create a weak acid (carbonic acid) and that acid has a pH of about 5.6. Loved your thoughts on using leaves to improve soil quality. If your yard is covered with pine needles from several mature pine trees, use the needles as mulch rather than bagging and discarding them. Sounds like a good system, making good use of local organic matter. They also collected nearby soil samples where no pines had been growing during the same time period. The rest of what you are doing should help the vegetable gardens. I think a lot has to do with the soil type. Valued as landscape trees as well as for their lumber, ponderosa pines are hardy and adaptable, and will... Austrian Pine. But two trees, all by their lonesome, dropping a bit of pine straw. As long as you have a healthy growing pine tree with plenty of fallen needles, there’s no need to buy standard mulch. During the very slow decomposition process pine needles lower from a pH of around 3.5 to nearly neutral 7.0. I’ve never encountered a circumstance of excessive soil acidity as the result of using generous amounts of coniferous needles for mulch and soil improvement. Using just pH as an absolute measure of how your soil will benefit or damage your plant is not at all meaningful, not to mention unscientific. The same thing happens at low pH–say below 5. Gives off a mild, fresh fragrance. Once you have acquired the right size of the compost bin, you will then need to collect some fresh pine needles. In the winter I cover the top with the pine needles so that by spring they have started to break down and compost, the compost itself I fill beds up with it or add to already pine composted beds, and so far lettuce and green peppers don’t like that soil much, tomatoes are not too fussy but I add some ashes to them to balance out, basically my raised bed garden with 17 containers are 60% pine needle compost and mixed with olive pits as we have an olive mill so after 6 months they are great for adding oxygen to the soil. Most pine tree species prefer a neutral to acidic soil with a pH level between 4.0 and 7.0, depending on the species. The Scotch pine is a long-lived tree with an expected life-span of 150 to 300 years; the oldest recorded specimen was in Lapland, N… Of course, this is not fail-safe. Best to use them as a top dressing on flower gardens, around roses, and places where weed and moisture control are desired. Our soil has been created over millions of years from this limestone. The third one tiny as it is, is alive about 7 yrs later, flowers OK no fruit. Tolerates heat, wind and dry conditions very well. Is your soil clay? They found that the pH of both soil samples were the same. Naturally I heard the pine tree myth story, started looking into this and then came across this article. Lots of views posted…here’s another: Response 1: Although it is thought to be a common conception that pine needles acidify soil it is in fact likely not the case. The volume of the needles decreased so there was decay, just not much. No acidification effect at all. The main reason is that evergreen has fine roots near the surface of the soil, and they suck up all the nutrients and water. They used pine needles as bedding because the pine needles soak up acidity in the chickens’ urine. The same principle applies to most soils. I have a question about this topic, it’s clear that the pine needles doesn’t turn the soil acidic, but, why the bark of perennials is the main source to acidify the blueberries in almost all cases? Most plants prefer a value of around 6.8. A reading of 7.0 is neutral, below that is acidic, higher than that is alkaline. I don’t know. Everything is not rosy and rainbows when it comes to mulching with pine needles. Are there any household products I can use to increase soil acidity for black hills spruce trees? In fact, I would even go as far to say that once you take a handful of pine needles and crunch them easily, they are dry and contain no acid. Even if they do, plants also have the ability to degrade pesticides, and so by the time you eat the vegetable, there is essentially nothing left. Pine is naturally antibacterial and smells great! What is it about a plants biochemistry that makes some plants like acidic soil but not others? Often, needle browning is the primary symptom that alerts homeowners and nursery growers of health problems. The second point is that even when fresh, pine needles are only slightly acidic and therefore can have limited effect on changing the pH of the soil. With sticky aromatic buds, this pine emits a pleasant scent, particularly after the rain. One thing is clear though, the deeper the pine needles are collected, the less acidic content they have. I went into the forest of pine trees and collected pine compost, it’s so old that it’s not even compost anymore but a rich light dark mixture, has the texture of top soil. The soil under them is a difficult place for plants to grow. Pine straw is often recommended for slopes and hillsides, because it allows water to get through to the soil and the pine needles help keep it there, rather than washing to the bottom of the slope and taking the topsoil with it. NTL, I plan this year to pot up the BB, and PH the soil in diff. Pine needles are also used for making decorative articles such as baskets, trays, pots, etc., and during the U.S. Civil War, the needles of the longleaf pine "Georgia pine… It helps that they tolerate most soil types, shallow and deep, sandy and clay, as long as it is at least slightly acidic. I also collect fallen needles and use them as an organic amendment to improve the texture and drainage in my clay loam soil. Also of note: My neighbor mulches his blueberries with lawn clippings, has been doing so for years, and has some of the healthiest blueberry plants in the area. A tree trimming company did a hack job and took off 2 of the lower branches that were 18-24″ in diameter. It is a summary of the relative abundance H+ and OH- ions in the solution that “may” have some effects on certain chemical reactions. Pine needles make a great mulch, but do they make soil acidic, or is this a gardening myth? As the falling needles are only slightly acidic, possessing a pH of 3.2 to 3.8, they change the soil, pH only slightly, without proving to be harmful to any surrounding plants. Do Marigolds Stop Cabbage Worms – Is this Good Companion Planting? Over hundreds of years, they will acidify your soil. Trees with this condition decline until they have only small clusters of short, stunted needles at their branch ends. They collected soil samples from underneath 50 year old pines. Start the process by using a tiller to loosen the existing soil (if it is a large area) or a spade (if it is a more manageable size). At least not in amounts large enough to counteract the effect of the acidic rain dissolving the calcium and carry it away into the subsoils or even to streams. I have done extensive work with oak and maple leaves and their effect on soil and vegetable yields but nothing with pine needles. All of the recommend a pH of below 5.3. They might prefer a lower pH but they don’t seem to need it. When starting new beds, consider using the "lasagna" method to prepare the soil. I would say that pine needles do not have enough of anything to change soil pH to change it either up or down. Greetings from Argentina. Make homemade natural soap with pine essential oil and pine needles. Certainly there is a lot less than you will find in a cup of coffee–and we consider that safe to drink. Take a small handful of lightly moist soil from several inches below the soil surface. So if a plant needs that nutrient it is better able to get it a a lower pH. I do not think that is in danger, but it does not seem to be thriving as much, i.e. Bring in topsoil. There are two important points here. Weeping white pine tree (Pinus strobus 'pendula'), a drooping variety of the eastern white pine, won't be to everyone's taste.This tree has a unique, twisting form, draping pine branches, and attractive blue-green needles. When left on the surface, pine needles break down at such a slow rate that they have little affect on soil pH. Pine is naturally antibacterial and smells great! Pine Needles. 15 Ways to Use Pine Needles. I am not saying a lab count not detect it. First, a heavy accumulation of needles will smother grass. The last 2 trimmings, 10 and 5 years ago were done by an aborist. I have a vegetable garden close to some pine trees. I have not yet had one plant that has NOT developed and I don’t use anything such as fertilizers. decomposition of plant materials) is Your soil has a certain pH level which is expressed as a number between 1 and 14. Natural Weed Killers – Do Organic Herbicides Work? The soft, wispy needles are clustered in groups of 5. Good job. If you like this post, please share ....... Error type: "Forbidden". Roots do not develop as much hardiness as the shoots. What I am saying is that the amount in the corn is so small that it does not harm us or the cow. First of all it is very likely that this pesticide is less dangerous to your health and the health of the cow, than an organic pesticide, provided the corn was grown in Europe or North America. I also compost veggie/fruit scraps and garden debris - with great success. If you naturally have acidic soil, it will be acidic, and if you have alkaline soil it will be alkaline. Pine trees are fairly common in the American landscape, and many different pine species are valued both as landscaping trees and for their timber. It’s unbelievable, all my plants grow and thrive in it, spinach sprouts in 3 days, beans in 7 days, people that pass by say they have never seen such green and lush vegetables. Like most myths, there is a grain of truth that started this pearl of a myth. One is the shade; the other is the extra acidity from pine needles that drop onto the soil and decompose. Also nearby are 3 large pine trees next door. Hostas will grow there, but slowly. When you add acid to soil it should reduce the pH making it more acidic. If you need a lower pH, then use sulfur. No effect so I did a more thorough, long term experiment, monitoring the pH in the following months. If you had a pH of 7.5 and modified the soil, for example by adding sulfur, then your soil is no longer 7.5. 1. In my garden beds, I’m happy to say my former hard, red Georgia clay is a rich, loamy, easy to work with soil after about 4 – 5 years of repeated annual deposits. Use what organic material is most available in your region. Any ideas or suggestions of what could be the cause of this ? Can we say that maybe because I live in the Mediterreanean that acidity has no value? The biggest upside to using pine needles for mulch is the cost. This is an old gardening myth that just won’t rot away! For millions of years, Ontario has had rain fall with a pH of at 5.6. Attracted by the pine’s lush green needles and fresh fragrance, many gardeners are planting ponderosa pine trees in backyards and gardens. the reduced light is also a factor. At 60 years old it might be on its way out. While researching this topic I came across numerous comments referring to a study done by Dr. Abigail Maynard on pine needles, but I could not find a link to the actual study. For the last 3 years I have not used any booster or fertilizer, and each year now, I just top the raised beds with more compost. I agree with the comment about rich soil, but the soil is not “pH balanced” assuming you mean a pH of 7. I watched the pH with indicator papers. You plants may absorb a very tinny amount of pesticide, but probably they don’t. That is the myth, but it is not true that pine humus is acidic. Repeat the process two more times. Even universities such as Cornell make reference to pine needles acidifying soils when used as a mulch. The pine needles tend to interlock with each other, holding fast to create a blanket of warmth which maintains adequate heat at soil level. The brown pine needles, also called pine straw, are not acidic. The water percolated through a bucket and drained back into the other where it was pumped back to the upper bucket. Whether you use pine needles in compost or as a mulch around your plants, they provide essential nutrients and improve the soils ability to hold moisture. Even with acidic rain mother nature can’t acidify the soil. I have used Ontario as an example, because I know it best. This is explained by the leafs of pines and spruce are less rich in calcium, which is then enriched in the top soil by decaying needles. I ran a test to see what pine needles produce when they break down. This article states. For more on soil pH see the post Soil pH Testers–Are They Accurate? Can I say that it will work for you in Florida? The soil is clay base and normally fertile. You can do this by running your lawnmower over the heap of pine needles several times. The added temperatures can also help some plants grow faster or stronger in the early season to give you better yields. Pine Trees for Clay Soils Ponderosa Pine. Started by mumofstig Now you put it in the garden, and microbes digest the pesticide molecules further. Whether it’s leaves, pine needles, hulls, or seaweed, it’s all useful for soil improvement. I have a 80 ft. pine tree in my back yard neighbors yard, and alot of the branches are hanging on my side. I too believed the myth, and tried adding it to a vermicomposting system to lower pH. Secondly, do they acidify the soil? Interesting stuff. on Grow Your Own. dropping more needles and a little less new growth. Read “Organic Fertilizer – What is its Real Value” for more on this. Pine trees are evergreen conifers that are native to most of the Northern Hemisphere. All of these plant will enjoy a slightly acidic soil I believe. Because the needles are so thick that seeds can’t get to the soil DOH, so, every spring I go out and collect a few bags and top my beds, so far no problems, I have even grown potatoes into the needles. I suggest we should care less about the definition and instead try to understand the under lying facts. The biomass of moss crusts and pine needles was determined by the drying method. My back yard is like totally dead with so many needles on the ground. If you are an organic farmer, you will know the rules so I can assume you are a gardener. About 15 years ago I raised the grade around the base of the trunk about. Most plants will grow just find with a pH in the range of 6.4 to 7.5. This just came into my mail box. Acidity of the soil affects how certain nutrients bind to soil and to each other. I agree with you Ray. If you have natural high-quality soil on your property, topsoil is not a necessity. I looked at several university and cooperative extension papers on growing blueberries. It’s awesome all your work. I’m not going to explain it here as it’s a rather long explanation, but you’ll have to dig past most conventional horticulture textbooks to get to the bottom of the pervasive pH myth. Good article thanks, but you need to learn more about pH. It’s an even bigger myth that certain plants prefer acidic soil. That is a really smart design for an experiment. As the acidic rain hits the ground, it neutralizes (dissolves) a bit of limestone, but the amount is extremely small. Pine needles make good compost. The trunk is about 5′ in diameter, the canopy about 70′ in diameter and the height about 30′., Pumpkin Champion 2010 / Super Winner of the Tallest Sunflower Competition 2011. This seems very reasonable and so some scientists tested this theory. So I contacted her and she was kind enough to provide this reply; ” For some reason, someone got the idea that I have worked with pine needles. Most plant material is close to neutral. Attributes This tree: Makes a good windbreak in tough areas. Leaching acids should certainly accumulate in the water and lower the pH. Before I increased(slightly) my limited knowledge of blueberries. Vegetables need lots of direct sun. Arborvitae are hardy up to USDA growing zone 3. Place pine needles under acid loving plants such as holly, azalea, or rhododendron. Manure can’t hurt since fines are also good feeders. Trees do not last as long in our artificial gardens as in the wild. You might try removing the soil from around the trunk to make sure there is no rot on the trunk. By the time pine needles gets old and are ready to drop off the tree they are barely acidic. So I suspect that certain plants who use a lot of a certain nutrient find it easier to grow at certain pH values. organic acid production, but this
2020 pine needles in clay soil