Pine straws are from pine trees that shed straws all over the year. As soon as the straws hit the ground, they’re cleaned, hand raked, and baled without cutting or harming the trees.
Typically, this makes the pine straw the eco-friendly choice as a mulching and landscaping material. If used correctly, it can prevent water from evaporating from the soil, reduces weed growth, and help avoid compaction and soil erosion.
Pine straw protects the plants from frost and helps maintain temperature stability in the soil around the plants. This is crucial for young plants and those that have shallow root systems.
In addition, pine straw improves soil structure by breaking down. You need to know how much pine straw do I need. This is because pine straw may vary by area and coverage, depending on the bale size, type, and application depth.
How Much Pine Straw Do I Need?
To know how much pine straw I need in the garden, you need to measure it before mulching carefully, and you will get enough pine straw to cover your garden.
Measure the width and length of the landscaping area in feet and record these dimensions. Multiply the measurements to get the square footage of the landscaped space.
Decide if you want to spread pine straw in a 2 or 3-inch layer. Typically, a 3-inch layer is ideal when gardeners first apply a pine straw to the landscaping area. Buy one bale for every 100 sq. feet so that the pine straw will spread over a 2-inch layer.
Buy a 50-square feet bale of pine straw for landscaping so that it spreads out over a 3-inch layer. The last recommended application is thicker because pine straw sets considerably, primarily when used first.
Uses of pine straw
1. Make a natural homemade soap
Make a natural homemade soap with pine straw and essential pine oil. Pine is antibacterial naturally and smells excellent. Typically, you can grind them to the powder or leave the straw whole.
2. Keep voles and moles away
Put pine straws in the winter garden to keep voles and moles away. They work well to keep dogs and cats out of the yard. Likewise, they need to be replaced frequently because the smell evaporates quickly.
3. To prepare tea
If you did not use the preservatives, you can prepare tea from a pine straw and drink it. Straws are rich in vitamin C, which applies to all pines like hemlock, fir, and spruce. Hemlock is safe when using a variety of pine and not poisonous, a hydrophilic plant that belongs to the carrot family.
4. Make the tincture
Also, you can make the tincture from pine straw. Take a half-liter bottle and fill it halfway with dry straws. Cover the straws with vodka and then place them in the sunny spot for some weeks.
Shakes every day so that straws can release more oils. For instance, use 40% vodka because it works well with tinctures. After some weeks, you will strain the liquid. Use 5 to 15 drops per day to increase vitamin C.
5. Make the footbath
You can take the handful of pine straws and pour it into a bowl of warm water. Soak the feet for about 15 minutes. The natural antibacterial properties help to eliminate what remains, like the athlete’s foot.
6. Holds and interlock heavy rain and wind
The pine straw holds and interlock together in heavy rain and wind, even on slopes. Because the pine straw interlocks, it does not wash the beds like other mulches.
Since many mulches don’t allow water to run off (irrigation and rain), pine straws enable water to flow through them to the ground below.
The same quality of pine straw lets water flow in and helps maintain soil moisture by reducing moisture loss and water evaporation rates. In addition, pine straw reduces wind and water erosion impact and adheres well to slopes. Therefore, in heavy rains, it is not as easy to wash as other mulches.
7. Maintain soil organic matter and recycle nutrients
Pine straw is the best mulching material used in the garden in the southeastern United States that helps to maintain soil organic matter and recycle nutrients.
When harvesting pine straw, trees are not destroyed. The carbon footprint for harvesting the pine straw is shallow when compared to other mulches. Most of the harvesting is done manually with a rake. You can rake the pine straw into a pile and place it in the wooden box for packing.
8. Help to start fires
Put a handful of straws in the muffin paper and then add some melted wax. It works fine if you put the muffin paper in the old box first. Allow the wax to harden and put into a large glass.
To use it, light the fire as you would, but place the fire starter under a stick. Light it and then watch the flame come to life.
9. Maintain soil moisture
Pine straw help to maintain soil moisture well. Pine straw has the quality to protect the soil from temperature changes to help retain soil moisture.
Water enters the ground through small channels in the form of pores and evaporates from it. This definite structure is a good soil health sign and allows deep root systems to be established in plants. If the surface of the soil is not protected from direct sunlight, it dries quickly.
10. It is an excellent insulator
Rather than pine straw blocking weeds and conserving soil, it keeps the ground warm in winter and cools in summer. Its lofty structure help to trap air space.
The air trapped resists daily fluctuations in air temperature because of nighttime and daytime differences and the cold and warm fronts passing through.
Many home gardeners choose pine straw to cover the landscaping beds because of the affordable price and attractiveness. Also, pine straw helps to improve soil quality as it degrades over time. In this article, you have to know how much pine straw is needed in a particular garden.
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