Southern Spirit Hunters

Gardening => Gardeners Chat => Topic started by: Dianna on Apr 30, 2016, 12:23:13 PM

Title: Pine Needles As Weed Blocker
Post by: Dianna on Apr 30, 2016, 12:23:13 PM
I am wondering about the pros and cons of pine needles used as weed blockers in flower gardens. I really need to do something about the pond garden. Weeds have taken over even with cypress mulch and cardboard as an additional measure. I was discussing this with Aunt Bonnie the other day and she was wondering if I used pine needles, if it would bring in ticks. I know we brush-hogged all the pines off the property when we first moved here and ticks were a horrendous problem. Any advice?
Title: Re: Pine Needles As Weed Blocker
Post by: Tina on Apr 30, 2016, 03:09:50 PM
I used pine needles without a tick problem. But I live in a different climate than you do.
Like with cypress mulch and cardboard, they do break down and do not obliterate weeds completely. But I liked it for easy pulling of the weeds that did grow through. And there were plenty to harvest right here so no cost except labor.
Title: Re: Pine Needles As Weed Blocker
Post by: duh on May 01, 2016, 07:49:39 AM
As far as I know what ticks don't like is eucalyptus oil.  But what good that's going to do you I have no clue.  I thought ticks like high grass.   
Title: Re: Pine Needles As Weed Blocker
Post by: Tina on May 01, 2016, 10:33:16 AM
Eucalyptus leaves are good mulch for eucalyptus only, pretty much. They give off a substance that discourages most other plants. Nothing much grows under my eucs.
Title: Re: Pine Needles As Weed Blocker
Post by: sunsoaker on May 01, 2016, 12:20:03 PM
I don't know how well pine needles would work for inhibition of weeds. We have an area just off the porch/deck that until yesterday/today had about 2 to 3 inches of pine needles covering it and still had weeds and grass growing up through it.
Title: Re: Pine Needles As Weed Blocker
Post by: Dianna on May 02, 2016, 10:52:33 AM
I know ticks like pine trees, but we haven't had any problems since we got rid of those when we first moved here. I am just curious if we will be "importing" ticks if I buy pine straw to cover the beds. The weeds in the pond garden are easy to pull from all the newspaper and cardboard that I have put down previously, I just want something that will be cheaper to buy and replace. Cypress gets pretty expensive if buying it by the bag like I do and I have to buy lots of bags.

I think I like the looks of pine straw better. Many of the professionally maintained businesses and yards around the area have pine straw as the weed blocker and it seems to block more weeds than the chips. I do not want to welcome ticks into the area though. Thanks for all of y'all's comments... :)
Title: Re: Pine Needles As Weed Blocker
Post by: Tina on May 02, 2016, 01:09:32 PM
I doubt you would  be importing ticks in bagged straw. I believe most of it would be heat treated and any that survived that would in an inhospitable bag. They do need blood to survive.
Title: Re: Pine Needles As Weed Blocker
Post by: Dianna on May 02, 2016, 06:28:49 PM
I would be buying the straw in bales, Tina, but I am sure they would still need blood. I didn't think of that. Thank you. I will be buying 15 bales of pine straw instead of 30 bags of the cypress chips for the pond area. I have azaleas planted around the gazebo. Will the Indian Hawthorne like the acidic environment? Guess I am off to google land to see if they can handle it.  :giggle: Need to figure out what kind of flowers like that type of soil, too.
Title: Re: Pine Needles As Weed Blocker
Post by: bestofour on Jun 13, 2016, 09:25:49 AM
We put out pine needles every year for the look of it but it doesn't help with weed control at all.  Maybe we don't put it thick enough.  I've never noticed a tick problem.
Title: Re: Pine Needles As Weed Blocker
Post by: bayou girl on Aug 06, 2016, 09:45:21 PM
if you put down weed cloth, then the pine needles, it will make the weeds all but disappear, and the straw won't bring in ticks.  the ticks live on the critters that live in the trees.  no critters, no ticks.  the problem with cardboard is that it breaks down almost as fast as anything else.  if you don't want to use weed cloth, use a thick layer of news papers. they take longer to break down than card board.
Title: Re: Pine Needles As Weed Blocker
Post by: Dianna on Aug 07, 2016, 01:51:59 AM
Thanks for bringing this back up, Jennifer. My pond garden is a weed garden right now. I still haven't done anything with it. I will need Jim's help out there and we have a lot going on right now, but we will get to it one day. I have had newspaper and cardboard out there to help control the weeds, but they have grown through both. I guess the answer is to pile the mulch on really thick when I do get the pine needles. I am not crazy about weed cloth, if you are talking about the plastic stuff. Been there and done that and won't be having to pull anymore of that stuff out.  :giggle:

I am debating on whether I want to take my ponds out. Since my fish were murdered, I am not too crazy about putting more out there as food...  :(

Title: Re: Pine Needles As Weed Blocker
Post by: bestofour on Aug 11, 2016, 09:02:51 PM
I use landscape fabric sometimes, comes on a roll, not expensive.  The only problem is if you don't overlap it and sometimes even if you do the weeds grow in the cracks.  Of course the flowers don't grow in the cracks :) but the weeds sure do.
Title: Re: Pine Needles As Weed Blocker
Post by: Bonnie on Aug 11, 2016, 09:21:18 PM
Go ahead and use the pine straw. At least it will look good.
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