2014 Fall Mulching with Pine Straw

Fall is just around the corner, with the official first day of Fall beginning on September 22 (2014).

2013 fall landscaping with pine straw Fall mulching has benefits beyond the garden such as keeping my shoes clean while I’m walking around my North Florida yard on all these days it has rained daily –some days upwards of 3 inches of water. I’m certainly not going to whine about it because we really needed all of this rain; before when there was no rain the drought was really starting to take its toll on some North Central Florida lawns that I saw while driving around.

Mulching with pine straw especially in the Fall will help with water retention, stopping weed growth and protects your plants and shrubs from such weather extremities such as temperature, wind, rain, lack of rain, sleet, hail and snow. When you’re adding new plants to your landscape this fall remember that the seedlings can grow through pine straw. Are you wondering “how will pine straw protect my plants against extremities and still let shoots come through?”

Pine straw is lightweight and airy allowing seedlings to grow through the needles while allowing water to trickle through the straw like a maze so the plant grows while allowing the soil to breathe all while the pine straw retains moisture itself. Sounds pretty amazing! That’s why pine straw is the perfect natural mulch from nature itself.

Pine straw as a mulch or ground cover can reduce weed growth by almost 2/3 when compared to not using any mulch. The trick here is to eliminate the sunlight that weeds need in order to develop by applying a 2 – 3” layer thick of pine straw.

I’m also going to share a little eco-secret on how to remove weeds using the following organic weed removal method: gather all of your old cardboard boxes and flatten them out. Remove all of the tape, plastic, shipping packages, staples and apply a layer of cardboard to an area in your garden you want to remove weeds. Remember you can also cut the cardboard pieces to fit around a curvy section in your garden. Then apply a 2 – 3” layer of pine straw on top of the cardboard. If you have plants where you are applying the cardboard, cut a hole in the cardboard where the plant stem will be (about a half inch away from it the stem) so that the plant can still get the water it needs. As the cardboard ages it will disintegrate into the ground and leave the layer of pine straw on the top leaving your garden weed free while allowing adequate growing conditions for your plants.

When you mulch in the fall you are preparing your plants for winter. Pine straw acts like a blanket; in the winter it keeps plants warm and in the summer it keeps plants cool. Mulching in the fall with pine straw will protect your newly planted plants against drastic temperature drops as winter nears.

It is excellent to mulch the following plants in August: Azaleas, Rhododendrons, roses, bulbs such as gladiolas and annual plants.

Also see: “Pine Time for Fall!

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  1. […] at their healthiest when they first appear next spring. Now, during the fall (also read our blog “2013 Fall Mulching with Pine Straw”) is the best time to prepare your landscape for the cold winter months […]