Clay Higgins, New Jersey

Pine needles or Pine Straw as Mulch

June 25, 2016

Categories: American Daffodil Society, Bulb Information, Daffodil Types, General, Growing Daffodils, Landscapes and Naturalized Daffodils, Miniatures

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Lesson learned:

Digging daffodils has always been one of most liked subjects to talk about and the least liked to do.  For those without this life altering experience 🙂 digging daffodils is hard work.  This is the first time that I dug with all my beds mulched with pine needles or pine straw.

Unlike pine bark mulch, or chips from “tree cutters” that I have used as mulch, pine straw does not automatically disappear on the top of your beds.  It has to be removed from the digging area and then removed from your yard (garden) and either stored for reuse or disposed off.  I had not experienced that before.

I removed the pine straw because the digging process would have worked it into the soil and I have a problem keeping enough lime in the soil without adding the acid from pine straw.  After digging the daffodil beds I tear down the beds with a roto-tiller and make them as flat as possible with a garden rake so that they will get natural sunlight and thus a little solarization until about November before I rework the beds and get them ready for planting in December.  I got this idea years ago from comments made by Bob Spotts. I’m including two pictures of three of my beds each that have been “flattened” for the summer to soak up the sunshine.  And, we get a lot of heat and sunshine here normally.

The beds below are in blocks of three beds, four ft wide with 18inches between beds by 25 feet long.  Usually they are 6 inches about the ground level created by heaped up soil.  I now have them flattened.


clayHouse beds looking west


House beds looking east


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