[NAFEX] pine needles

Lee Reich lreich at hvc.rr.com
Mon Oct 26 07:37:28 EDT 2009

Most organic materials temporarily lower the soil pH as they  
decompose, and then the pH rises to its previous level. High levels of  
humus, derived from organic materials, do allow plants to tolerate a  
wider range of apparent pH, though.

Those chips and needles are excellent mulch for blueberries but should  
not be relied on to lower the pH. Use pelletized sulfur. This material  
is merely elemental sulfur pressed into pellets so that it is easier  
and less dusty to apply. As a rough guide,  use three-quarters of a  
pound per hundred square feet in sandy soils, or two pounds per  
hundred square feet in loams, for each pH unit that the soil is  
initially above a pH of 4.5.

Lee Reich, PhD

Books by Lee Reich:
A Northeast Gardener's Year
The Pruning Book
Weedless Gardening
Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden
Landscaping with Fruit

On Oct 25, 2009, at 8:09 AM, jerrydana5 at aol.com wrote:

>  I had the good fortune  ( I think) of getting a truck load of  
> chipped up pine needles and twigs when the electric company trimmed  
> trees around lines around here. They were glad to dump them on my  
> property.  Would they be good mulch for my blueberry plants?    I  
> have trouble keeping the ph low enough even with sphagnum peat moss  
> and adding some sulfur. I have heard that pine needles and oak  
> leaves are somewhat acid, only to hear from other that this is not  
> true.  Can somebody enlighten me?  Jerry in southern Indiana
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