How to Get Pine Needles Out From Rock Yard

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Pine needles are seemingly the bane of any homeowner with pine trees in their yard. The acid in the needles can kill grass and plants; and they easily embed themselves in a rock garden or yard, making it impossible to remove them by hand or with a rake. While several products are currently awaiting patents, expensive methods such as a tow sweeper, a Cyclone Rake, and the "Dr. Leaf & Lawn Vacuum" are available. However, it is possible to do the job with a standard piece of home equipment that you can rent, or may already have in your garage.

Things You'll Need

  • Leaf blower or power washer
  • Blow the pine needles out of the rock yard or garden with the leaf blower. Blow them into one area, or a pile. Dispose of needles once the rock area is cleaned, to avoid the killing of any plants or grass around it.

  • Wash the pine needles out of the desired area with a power washer. Rake the wet needles into a pile and dispose of immediately.

  • Combine Steps 1 and 2 if you have access to both machines. Blowing the leaves out first may get many of the needles, but not all. Using the power washer will remove any remaining needles, and wash out any debris left behind.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may be able to borrow a leaf blower or power washer from a friend, neighbor or family member, or barter a service in exchange for its use.
  • Pine needles make excellent (and free) mulch. Before placing around any shrubs or plants in the yard or garden, do a little research to make sure the acid in the needles will not damage the plants.
  • Pine needles are recommended as mulch for strawberry beds. It is believed the acid gives the berry a "wild" flavor.
  • To avoid an accident, learn how to properly use a leaf blower or power washer before use if you are renting or borrowing it.
  • Depending on water costs in your area, power washing may be a more expensive method for this project.

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