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Questions about pine cones and needles as mulch
  • Subject: Questions about pine cones and needles as mulch
  • From: SDAyres2@aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2012 20:20:43 -0400 (EDT)

Hi All: 
I am doing an article for my club newsletter on using  pine cones and 
needles as mulch.  I  need some help.   
One web site stated that pine needles don't attract  termites.  Is this 
true of pine  cones? 
One web site stated that pine needles also make a good  barrier against 
slugs. T/F? 
According to Texas A&M University, pine needle  mulch also prevents 
soil-borne diseases.  Why?  
One web site stated that it's the pine pitch which is  acidic and not 
necessarily the needles or pine cones.  Once the needles turn brown the pitch  
has dissipated.  Is this true?  I actually want acidic cones.  Our soil and 
water is  alkaline. 
Pine cones and needles can be put in between irises  but not on the 
rhizomes.  Is this  true?  Anything I should worry  about? (we usually don't have 
to worry about snow and sub-zero temps  so we do not cover irises in the 
winter in southern  NM) 
Flammable?  Can you use them next to the house?  I don't see much resin on 
my pine cones.  Are needles and pine cones any more  flammable than regular 
bark mulch?  Does it depend upon how fresh they are? 
The advantages include: 
.    Insulates tender roots from temperature  extremes. 
.    Protects against digging cats and dogs. 
.    Keeps soil moist longer (I live in the desert).   
.    Encourages water infiltration into the soil and reduces runoff.   
.    Eliminates erosion caused by rain-splash impact and high winds.   
.    Protects against soil compaction by reducing the rain impacting 
directly  on the surface.  
.    Can help make the soil more acid. 
.    Provides some nutrients slowly over time.  
.    Pine needles stay put and will not erode. 
.    Does not have to be removed.  Just add more.  
.    Better than putting it in the land fill. 
.    Free! 
Any more advantages?  
Please drop me an email if you know the  answers. 

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