In early Fall nature gives me a beautiful gift: free mulch. Actually it’s the dead needles from my long needle pine tree. It wasn’t until last year that it dawned on me to rake it up and spread it in my landscape beds. Maybe I didn’t have as many needles fall in previous years? I don’t know. But I do remember seeing people in North Carolina using it to “pave” their driveway. I thought it was the coolest thing, but I already had a driveway.
So the glorious thing about the long pine needles is they always fall off before the maple leaves. That way they don’t mix with the crunchy, dried up leaves (for the most part). No, they fall cleanly and therefore can easily be raked up and deposited at the base of my trees, bushes and elephant grass.
And it’s FREE! It’s awesome to being able to recycle nature to improve the look of your landscaping and save money.
Seriously, who wants to lug bags of mulch around the yard?
Okay, I must admit, this is not an original idea. Years ago I was walking around my neighborhood (a fun way to get landscaping ideas) and I noticed a neighbor with a tree ring full of pine cones. The next year, the same cones were there – having survived an upstate New York winter.
I vowed to copy this idea.
A couple weeks ago I picked up an entire shopping bag full of pinecones in my yard. I was so excited to wrap them around the bottom of my newbie birch tree, like Mother Nature’s tree skirt.
Both of these ideas are free and easy. And if you do have a long needle pine tree, you must also check out an adorable Christmas Craft you can make with its living needles!
Now I have to ask….
Do you have an eco mulch alternative you want to tell us about?
Please leave your suggestions and tips in the comments!