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Why Do People Use Pine Straw in Their Landscaping?

A person spreads pine straw over a lawn.
Will478/Shutterstock.com

Spring is in full swing, and that means people are getting their landscaping up to date and preparing for summer. If you’ve seen people distribute pine straw in their yards, you might wonder why they do it.

As it turns out, pine straw isn’t just a way to make your landscaping look clean and well-designed. It’s actually all about the soil.

Pine straw actually serves a variety of purposes that are all meant to protect and help your plants. Putting it down helps prevent water evaporation so that your plants can soak up all the hydration they need. It also helps prevent weed growth and can help combat soil compaction as well as erosion.

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For those who live in climates where colder weather could hit again, pine straw can act as a sort of insulating layer, helping protect your plants from cold conditions and maintaining temperature. If you’ve got newer blooms, this is particularly important as they’ll have more shallow roots.

As for using pine straw, an annual application is typical, but if you do want to use it as a decorative element, you can place it down twice a year. The key to application is to be sure to shake it over a general area so that it distributes widely, and build up a layer of roughly three inches.

If you’re planning to do some landscaping before the heat of summer arrives, you might want to pick up some pine straw now that you know how handy it is.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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