Gardening | 11 May 2016How to Spread Pine Straw Mulch Share article facebook twitter google pinterest When it comes to gardening, we’ve all felt a bit guilty at times for the amount of water we use. Water conservation is so important. Not only is it essential to the environment but it can also contribute to a lower water bill! One of the best ways to conserve water in your garden is through pine straw mulch. The following excerpt from the essential guide Water-Smart Gardening offers a step by step guide to utilizing this helpful tip! HOW TO SPREAD PINE STRAW MULCH Pine straw mulch is particularly common in the Southeast, where longleaf, loblolly, and slash pines grow natively. There’s a trick to spreading this type of mulch without making a mess. Here’s how. 1 Buy the mulch. Pine straw is sold in bales, just like hay. Bales can be prickly, and spiders and other insects like to hang out in pine straw, so use gloves when handling the bales. Look for bales that don’t appear to have a lot of other material in them—cones, twigs, or pieces of ferns. Pine straw is raked and baled from yards and commercial forests, and sometimes it comes with hitchhiking plants or weeds. Nutsedge is one type of weed that tends to come along, so if you can, put down a pre-emergent herbicide before using pine straw. If you need to control nutsedge that is already sprouting, Image® is the best chemical product to use—it is virtually the only thing that will kill nutsedge. 2. To add the pine straw to the landscape, simply snip the twine holding a bale together, and the bale will break apart into clumps called “flakes.” Sprinkle the flakes around the landscape bed or trees, being careful to keep the straw near the ground. If you fling pine straw around above your waist, you’ll end up with needles hanging all over your shrubs, and that’s annoying to clean up! 3. The newly spread straw will be fluffy, and it will most likely escape the landscape beds. To tidy up the beds, you’ll want to rake and tuck the straw to keep it in place. Using a hard rake, pull the straw into the edge of the landscape bed. Step on the straw on top of the rake, and then, leaving your foot where it is, pull the rake out. This bunches up the straw at the edge of the bed. 4. To tuck the straw, after raking, plunge a sharpened spade or shovel into the ground about one inch inside the landscape bed. This will trap the edge of the straw in the soil, and will keep it from blowing out of the bed. You can use a chopping motion to do this. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: You can have a colorful, striking garden that’s drought resistant too!Water-Smart Gardening gives you all the tools needed to create a water-smart landscape and garden. Drought is spreading throughout the country. Even areas that previously had plentiful supplies are feeling the strain, and the price of water is climbing. If you have to water your garden during non-drought years, many of the water-saving techniques from this book could still pay for themselves in no time. Choose water-smart plants that survive and even thrive in low-water situations. Tap into the power of evolution and use plants native to your area. Time your irrigation and install water-collection devices such as cisterns and rain barrels. Creating a water-efficient garden can even be as simple as designing your landscape to harvest as much rainfall as possible, using berms, terraces, and raised beds. Gorgeous photos throughout Water-Smart Gardening will inspire you with beautiful garden ideas and help you see your way to a garden that sips water instead of gulping it. Helpful how-to information gets to the nuts and bolts of everything from installing a cistern to using seep irrigation. Author Diana (Dee) Maranhao brings over 30 years of experience to help you create the garden of your dreams and save water at the same time. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.