[NAFEX] Pine needle mulch in orchard
jas39a at att.net
Mon Jun 8 16:12:02 EDT 2009
I would strongly advise against using pine needles as mulch in the South or
Mid-Atlantic areas. Voles love a thick layer of pine needles.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Fruth" <jimfruth at charter.net>
To: "NAFEX" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, June 08, 2009 11:25 AM
Subject: [NAFEX] Pine needle mulch in orchard
> Betsy Hilborn asked, "Anything special about the pine needle mulch?"
> Orchards that have grass or weeds around the trees have a potential
> problem. When it rains, the vegetation gets the water first and the trees
> get whatever is extra. If it only rains a slight amount, the trees may
> get any. In years where rainfall is scarce, the trees experience major
> I use pine needle mulch because of one special quality needles have.
> Conifer needles tend to be hydrophobic. When it rains, only the uppermost
> layer gets wet and the rest of the water passes through the bulk of the
> needles without the needles getting wet. With one exception, all other
> mulched, that I have tried get thoroughly soaked before any moisture gets
> down to the soil. Pine needles take longer to degrade than most other
> mulches so I don't need to add more every year. In order to keep annual
> weeds from growing, 3" to 4" is required.
> The above-mentioned exception is the chips left over from shredding
> raspberry canes. This mulch doesn't work quite as well as pine needle
> but it does do the job.
> Jim Fruth
> Brambleberry Farm
> Pequot Lakes, MN 56472
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