How to Install Pine Straw

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Placing a layer of pine straw around the base of flowers, plants and trees serves several purposes. The main purpose is that the pine straw acts as a barrier to evaporation, which keeps moisture in the soil during the warm months. During the colder winter months, pine straw acts as an insulator and keeps the soil temperature slightly higher than the air temperature. To get the most benefit from pine straw, it is important to install it correctly.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Scissors
  • Garden hose
  • Measure the length and width of the area in feet where you want to install the pine straw. Multiple the two numbers to arrive at the square footage of the area. You will need to buy 1/2 lb. of pine straw per square foot.

  • Put on gardening gloves and carry the pine straw bales to the the flower beds or landscaping locations that you want to install it in. If you purchased round pine straw bales, you can simply roll the bales to the locations.

  • Cut the string that is tied around the pine straw bales with a pair of scissors. Gather up the pieces of string and discard them.

  • Grab large handfuls of pine straw from the bales and use your hands to sprinkle the pine straw over the landscape area. Separate the pine straw using your hands as you go.

  • Continue spreading pine straw until it is in a 3-inch layer over the entire area.

  • Pull back the pine straw from around the base of plants at least 3 inches.

  • Water the pine straw with a garden hose immediately after installation. The pine straw should be moist but not soggy.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pine straw decomposes at a rate of approximately 1 inch per year.

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References

  • Photo Credit line of magnolia trees image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com
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