The University of Florida – Florida-Friendly Landscaping program recommends:
- Use an organic mulch such as pine straw around trees, shrubs and plants to control weeds, retain moisture and insulate the roots from temperature extremes.
- Maintain a 2 to 4 inch thick layer.
- Do not remove the old pine straw, let the decayed needles break down and add organics to the soil. Simply top off the mulch to the recommended thickness as needed.
- Ideally the mulch should be pulled back from the plant stem about 2 inches
Note: Reduce watering frequency or install drip irrigation to keep pine straw looking fresher longer.
In 2017, as a fund raiser our FNPS chapter is took orders for bales of long leaf pine straw (not the slash pine straw commonly available). These bales are recently raked from the Winter needle drop, so they will be the freshest available. Longleaf Pine straw has needles in lengths of up to 16 inches (versus 7 to 9 for slash pine). It has more resin in the needles making it the longest lasting and also the brightest copper color. Check at one of our meetings to see if this will be done on a regular basis.
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