If you live near a pine tree or have one on your property, pine needles can easily become one of your woes when it comes to gardening. The tiny, sharp needles from pine trees can prove to be a nuisance when out in the lawn, and especially so if you have pets which routinely need them pulling out of their fur.
Thankfully, there are many different tips and tricks for removing pine needles from your lawn, so you can finally stop wondering why your dog is limping or what keeps prodding you through your sweatshirt.
What are Pine Needles?
Pine needles are thin, long needles which fall from pine trees. They fall from pine trees year-round and can carpet areas such as gardens if left undisturbed. Due to their size and shape, they’re incredibly hard to collect using traditional means, so it is advised to use specialist equipment in order to remove it successfully.
Whilst pine needles can be a nuisance for homeowners, they have many benefits, including producing a soothing aroma and can be burnt in cooking fires to add flavor to certain dishes such as chicken and beef.
Why Should I Remove Pine Needles?
Besides littering the lawn and making it look unsightly, pine needles host a whole bunch of other problems for your lawn. Pine needles are capable of attaching to clothes or pets and causing prickly irritation, and also have the potential to kill grass by suffocating it. Pine needles can very easily become entwined within the lawn’s thatch, meaning that it can speed up the development of thatch, and potentially kill off parts of your lawn.
In addition to this, a thick covering of pine needles can also act as a shelter for grass, increasing the humidity, trapping condensation and leaving a great opportunity for mold to start growing.
If you find yourself with a recurring pine needle problem, it’s best to consider some solutions in order to combat it.
How to Remove Pine Needles from Lawn
There are a couple of ways to remove pine needles from the lawn, using different equipment and techniques.
Rakes are used for removing a number of different types of debris from the lawn. They’re easy to use, simple to store and are often purchased fairly cheaply. A rake that has small slits is ideal for pine needle cleanup, as it reduces the amount of needles that can easily be missed.
Lawn blowers/vacuums give you the option to suck in or blow away all of the pine needles in one go. It isn’t particularly intensive but may take some time to ensure that they are all sucked up or blown away. Some leaf blowers come equipped with the ability to vacuum, so make sure to check if this feature is available when you are considering purchasing a vacuum. Whilst blowing the pine needles away is also a solution, it is best to suck them up and dispose of them, as they can cause other issues down the line if simply blown to another location.
A lawn sweeper uses rotating bristles to clear away debris. Whilst this doesn’t contain the pine needles for easy disposal, it will effectively clear them from the area. It works better than a leaf blower as you can direct the debris to a single collection part for easy pickup and removal. Lawn sweepers can be on the more expensive side and look fairly akin to lawn mowers. They come in push along varieties which work similarly to lawn mowers.
Can you Mow Over Pine Needles?
Pine needles may not cause any issues to your lawn mower, but they won’t be removed by simply mowing over them. They also won’t be mulched if you have a mulching attachment. This is due to their shape, size and density which enabled them to nimbly escape being sucked up.
Are Pine Needles a Fire Hazard?
Dried pine needles can catch fire fairly easily, as with most dried plant matter. As mentioned previously, dried pine needles are sometimes used in outdoors cooking as a way to add extra flavor to smoked meat. They’re very easy to use as tinder, and, depending on the amount of pine needles in the area, can cause a fire to spread very quickly. It’s important to keep this in mind if you live in an area prone to drought or wildfires, as it only takes one piece to catch fire to spread easily.
Pine needles are an annoyance for any homeowner, as they can be very hard to remove successfully. Luckily, there are ways to remove pine needles from your lawn effectively without needing to destroy the source.