View Full Version : How to make new pine needles look "groomed"?

02-28-2011, 07:14 PM
I installed some pine needles at a property, yesterday. Wait....

**Disclaimer...I am NOT a professional!

OK...I got 'em in there nice and thick (good coverage). But, it still looked "not as good" as what I've seen photos of, here (been lurking). This is "a" part of my business (lawn care....minor landscaping). I'd just like to do whatever I do - RIGHT. Is there a trick?


02-28-2011, 07:21 PM
Best way is to not use them, they look horrible no matter what you do.

02-28-2011, 07:30 PM
Trust me....

If you were in my shoes, you'd use them, too.

02-28-2011, 07:37 PM
On the rare occasion we lay pinestraw, I run over it with a soft plastic rake, upside down. Also, it helps to wet them down either with a hose or irrigation before you run over them.
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02-28-2011, 07:39 PM
We got a heckuva rain storm here, today. I'm gonna ride by and look, tomorrow....just to see what they look like. They were really "full" looking when I left.

Putting water on them (unless I bring the water....or it's raining!), isn't an option. I wish it was.

02-28-2011, 07:44 PM
Try the rake method. It takes some practice but it helps lay them down
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02-28-2011, 07:46 PM
It's kind of hard to explain...

While laying the straw, go about one foot past where you want the edge to be. Once you have gone all the way around whatever, get your blower and "roll" the pinestraw into itself by lightly blowing at the ground, under the straw. with our handheld blower, I just feather the throttle, quickly from idle to max to idle to max.... With the BR600, i just squeeze it a little bit and that is enough power... You really need to get the feel for it.

Check out our photo album https://picasaweb.google.com/twobroslawn
Click on pinestraw
You can see many of our pinestraw jobs

02-28-2011, 07:51 PM
:)Also, sometimes it can add to effect if you edge with a weedeater on it's side (NOT AN EDGER) that helps to make a line along the edge...

Lets see some pics..:)

02-28-2011, 08:15 PM
I like the trimmer idea.

I'll try to post a pic. Never done it.


Think Green
02-28-2011, 09:24 PM
I have only done a few jobs back when I lived in Mississippi. This was the normal thing around all of those pine forests.
Those folks wanted them raked up and installed straight off the lawn.
I walked on the fluffed needles after installation and even watered them in walking backwards and forewards. When they are fluffed that badly, it will take a couple of weeks of intense rains to settle them out.
I can honestly tell you that pine needles is the least desirable ground covering I ever did.
If still do areas around Azaleas here............after collecting them from the GHS system of the Walker mower. Those pieces are 1 inch or less in length and will spread easily. Takes more per square yard but is harder to scatter. The blower will take some burden off. A blower will pack them down if you get the hang of using a circular motion and not the under tow blow. These things do roll under and become a mess.

02-28-2011, 09:29 PM
Yeah...thats pretty bad..you will learn though if you do it a few times. Your edges really need to be rolled...you will be amazed how much better it will look..and try the rake thing to make them a little more level

02-28-2011, 11:12 PM
Pretty bad?....lol

I don't take offense. Trust me. I wouldn't have asked the question and posted the pic if I had thin skin.

I appreciate the pointers, sincerely.

02-28-2011, 11:12 PM
Where in NC are you located?

02-28-2011, 11:15 PM
Near Winston Salem.

02-28-2011, 11:17 PM
Ohh ok.. well if you were closer i would come by and give you some pointers. If it is something that you are interested in getting into..you will learn pretty quick..but you will also learn its not the most profitable. I learned to sub it out..haha

02-28-2011, 11:21 PM
My situation's a little different than most, I would guess. And, as long as "I" have the time to do it......it's not worth subbing out (for ME).

I hope to sub out all of my lawn maintenance, one day. For now, I need to recoup my investment (equipment). Landscape maintenance is maybe 10-15% of my business.

Thanks for the offer.

02-28-2011, 11:23 PM
What do you typically do? Installs? I only sub out the needles b/c I can pay someone 5.50 per bale spread and deliver..and I would charge 7.50. I am meticulous and it takes me forever to make needles look like i want them to. I can do about 10 per hour and they can do about 15

02-28-2011, 11:33 PM
It would be easier to list what I don't do.....lol.

I do work for REO/Commercial/Residential customers. I do everything from trash haul-outs (REO); home repairs (ready-ing for market - REO); Commercial and residential home repairs......with lawn and landscape maintenance being "a" part of all of it.

I know my limitations, and I sub out the "real" landscaping projects. That may change in the future. But, for now, I can handle most of it in a day (maybe 1.5)/wk.. When my other work requires more of my time, I'll sub out everything but the mowing (which I'll limit to 1day/wk). One day, I hope to sub it all out (lawn maint.).

FTR.....The reason I don't sub out needles at this time is......I can charge $15/bale - installed.