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Advice on laying pine straw

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Big C, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,642

    I have a customer that has regular pine mulch and would like to switch to pine straw this spring. The bed currently has a thick layer (4 inches) of mulch already installed and has little to no weeds, do I remove some or all of the current mulch or can I just place the new pine straw over the existing mulch?
  2. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    What is "regular pine mulch?" Crushed pine needle mulch? If this is the case, just install the pine needles on top of the existing mulch; pine needles compost naturally.....
  3. jsw2008

    jsw2008 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    If you talking about pine bark mulch, I would take it out if the customer will pay extra for you to remove it. 4" of mulch plus the pine straw is a bit much I think.
  4. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,642

    I am talking about pine bark and putting pine needles over it. If i do remove the existing mulch...we may have to add topsoil to build the bed back up.
  5. sbarnes

    sbarnes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    The pinestraw will break down faster than bark mulch. what will happen if you don't put down an extreme amount of pinestraw, is that you will start to see the mulch showing up through the straw. The pinestraw will start to lay flat the more moisture it gets. we always remove a majority of mulch then install the pinestraw. by the way what is the price per bale in La. ?
  6. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,642

    $4.75 per bale
  7. zeroturner

    zeroturner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    I would leave the pine bark mulch down. It will aid in weed control and suppression and add volume to the beds. Be sure to explain to the customer that pine straw will flatten over time and lose its color. Recommend application of straw 2 to 3 times a year for optimal curb appeal and to develop a more dense bed of straw.
  8. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    I wish more wholesale nursery outlets would carry pine straw bales up here in southern Ohio. The few that do carry it, want to charge an arm & a leg for it! :cry: And that almost makes me want to go out and find some pine forest and start a' rakin'...(but I stop myself because I know that's not in any way the proper thing to do for the existing standing pine trees).

    In my opinion, there is absolutely nothing better for use in perennial beds.
    Hostas & pansies, in particular, thrive in the acid derived from pine mulch, wheras I've noticed they often decline over time in certain hardwood mulches.
  9. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,642

    I was thinking the same thing about the current mulch adding volumn to the bed....if I remove the existing mulch, I will need to bring in a sh!t load of soil to build the bed back up, and it will give an oppertunity for weed to get in.
  10. zeroturner

    zeroturner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    Yes, I have done this on several occasions in the past. I always tell the customer why I recommend leaving it down, and I tell them it will save them money by not having to remove it. If they still want to remove it and pay for the removal, I will do it, but I do not recommend it.

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