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Every year in autumn, trees shower gardeners with an abundance of falling leaves and pine needles. To not take advantage of them in our gardens is to waste some valuable (and free) renewable resources.
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I tried to burn massive amounts of pine needles; what was left resembles charcoal. Can I use this in my garden?
By Pat M.
As long as you didn't use any lighter fluid or anything like it to start them burning, you can absolutely use it. Biochar is great for gardens.
Please share your thoughts and "Do's and Don'ts" for composting pine needles. I have to circle the wagons and the troops and rake up all of them. I want to fill up the new 'wiz-bang' recycled plastics composter I purchased from the local landfill district office (It's about 42" high, and 4' across).
Just mix with other compostable materials in layers and you're good to go. Compost does best when there is an equal mix of greens (fresh plant trimmings, kitchen veggie trimmings and grass clippings) and browns (shredded newspaper, brown pine needles, fallen leaves, etc.). Take a look here.
Oh, the pine needles would be a brown.
You are very fortunate to have 'troops'! :-)
Pine needles can acidify the soil so are best around acid loving plants - or presumably on alkaline soils!
As long as you truly "compost" the needles (that is, that you put them into a mix with several other compostable materials and let them break down into compost or dirt) the acidic ph of the pine needles will be neutralized.
You can use pine needles as mulch (that is, not composted) around acid loving plants: rhododendreons, evergreens, azealas, etc....
Should you shread the pine needles before adding them to the compost pile to speed up the process, or does it make a difference?
How long does it take for pine needles to compost?