Pine Straw: What It Is and How To Use It

If you’re looking for a natural way to improve your garden, you should consider using pine straw. Pine straw is made of needles and cones that fall from pine trees. It has many benefits for your garden, such as preventing erosion, retaining moisture, and adding nutrients to the soil. This blog post will discuss pine straw and why you should use it in your garden!


Pine Straw

Pine straw is made from pine needles that fall off the trees. The needles are collected and cleaned. They are then put into bales without harming the tree. This makes pine straw a good choice for landscaping and mulching because it is environmentally friendly.

When applied correctly, pine straw can help prevent water from evaporating from the soil, reduce weed growth, and prevent soil compaction and erosion. Additionally, pine straw can protect plants from freezing conditions and improve the soil structure as it decays.

There are different types of pine straw, and the amount you need will depend on the type, size of the bale, and how deep you want to apply it.

How to Apply Pine Straw

You should apply pine straw every year to keep your landscape looking fresh. However, if you’re only using it for decorative purposes, you can apply it about twice a year.

If you are applying pine straw, you may want to wear gloves. The needles can be prickly, and it might be harder to manage them with your bare hands. Applying pine straw is quite simple. Remove the bale ties and take handfuls of the straw, shaking them over the application area. Generally, plan to apply to a depth of about 3 inches, adding approximately an inch annually to maintain a good depth.


You should apply pine straw to your yard to prevent weed growth and enhance the beauty of your yard. You should apply a thickness of at least 3 inches. However, you don’t have to apply 6 inches, as some people say. This is especially true if you apply it in a shady location, such as an area beneath a tree. Laying pine straw in decorative ways can be nice for lining walkways and seating areas that are not paved, such as the areas around benches.

Gardens, Trees and Shrubs

Applying pine straw near the base of plants and around trees will help protect them from being eaten by rodents. The straw should be kept 2-3 inches away from the plant base or trunk.

Pine needles can be used as mulch to acidify the soil for acid-loving plants. This includes camellias, azaleas, hydrangeas, fuchsias, gardenias, ferns, dogwoods, magnolias, holly, and evergreens.


  • You can put down pine straw any time of year to make an area look neat.
  • Before spreading straw, be sure to clean and weed the area. Apply a weed preventer and complete pruning and trimming existing trees and shrubs.
  • Spread the straw out so that it is about 3 inches thick. The straw will settle a short time after you put it down.
  • Spread the straw a foot beyond the bed edge.
  • You can give your straw project a professional touch by rolling the edges of the straw. A rake or a leaf blower can also accomplish this task.

For more information about the benefits of spreading straw over grass, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pine Straw

What Is Pine Straw Good for?

Pine straw is a good mulch because it helps to keep the soil insulated and prevents it from getting too hot or cold. It also helps to keep the soil from losing moisture. Pine straw can also help reduce soil compaction, good for healthy root growth. Unlike some other mulches, pine straw does not float.

What’s the Difference Between Pine Needles and Pine Straw?

There are two types of mulch: shredded pine bark and pine straw. Shredded pine bark often comes in bags from nurseries, while pine straw is made from fallen needles that have been raked up and spun into loose bales. Pull apart the bales and cover the garden bed with loose needles to apply pine straw. You have to find the best rake for pine needles to clear them easier.

Is Pine Straw Better Than Mulch?

Pine straw mulch is lighter than bark mulch, making it easier to move around. Bark mulch also breaks down more quickly than pine straw mulch, so the benefits last for a shorter amount of time. Once it starts to compost, the soil gets more nutrients in it. Pine straw mulch benefits also include making the

Are Pine Needles Bad for Mulch?

The truth is that pine needles do not increase the soil’s acidity. They are an excellent mulching material that retains moisture, suppresses weeds, and gradually replenishes soil nutrients. Additionally, you can add them to a compost pile.

Should You Remove the Old Pine Straw?

Adding new pine straw on top of old straw is a good way to mulch. This will help the soil and stop weeds from growing. You need at least three inches of pine straw to be effective.

What do you put under pine straw?

When spreading pine straw, it is recommended to use only 4 inches of thickness. If you use any other type of mulch, it is best to use 1-2 inches. Be sure to spread the mulch around the borders of the plants so that water can still reach the roots.

Which Is Better, Wheat Straw or Pine Straw?

If you want mulch to help the soil, pine straw is better. If you want mulch to stay on the surface longer and stop weeds from growing, grain straw might work better.

Does Pine Straw Attract Roaches?

Pine straw mulch can often attract roaches because it is lightweight, and they can burrow within it easily. Large roaches, such as smoky brown, prefer deep pine straw mulch where humidity remains high and darkness prevails.

Do Coffee Grounds Repel Snakes?

Cayenne pepper or used coffee grounds can help keep pests away. The grounds can also be used as fertilizer because they contain nitrogen.

What Plant Keeps Snakes Away?

Onions and garlic are plants you can grow in your garden to keep snakes away. Snakes don’t like the smell of these plants, and they also get confused by it. People think that garlic is the best plant to keep snakes away because it leaves when a snake slithers over a clove of garlic.

Do Pine Needles Cause Termites?

Cheryl is worried that the pine needles near her house will attract termites. Termites eat wood, and the needles themselves don’t provide them with any food. However, the straw will keep the ground below wet, attracting termites to Cheryl’s home.

Does Pine Straw Attract Ticks?

You should rake leaves, grass, and pine straw from the lawn areas. Additionally, you can add pine straw or mulch to maintain the appearance of the lawn. However, be careful with pine trees/straw because they are attractive to ticks.